Banks V. Cessar et al
Judge Denise J. Casper: ORDER entered denying 13 Motion for Leave to Appeal in forma pauperis; denying 14 Motion for Leave to Appeal in forma pauperis. [Copy of Order mailed to plaintiff on 4/13/17 at the following address: Frederick Banks, Reg. No. 05711-068, FMC Butner, P.O. Box 1600, Butner, NC 27509.] (PSSA, 3)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
ROBERT CESSAR, et al.,
Civil Action No. 16-10972-DJC
April 13, 2017
Now before the Court are the plaintiff’s motions to appeal in forma pauperis. For the
reasons set forth below, the motions are DENIED.
As the Court explained in its earlier orders of July 21, 2016 (D. 4) and February 7, 2017
(D. 9), Banks is a pretrial detainee and therefore is a prisoner within the meaning of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(h). That he is currently hospitalized to receive mental health evaluation and treatment to
possibly restore him to competency, see United States v. Banks, Crim. No. 2:15-cr-00168-MRH
(W.D. Pa.), does not change his prisoner status. The basis of his confinement is a pending
criminal prosecution—not a civil proceeding. See, e.g., Gibson v. City Municipality of New
York, 692 F.3d 198, 202 (2d Cir. 2012) (per curiam) (holding that where state criminal
proceedings were suspended but not terminated while plaintiff underwent treatment to restore
capacity, plaintiff was a prisoner for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(h)).
Banks is a “three strikes” litigant, meaning that he has, while a prisoner, filed three or
more civil cases in federal court that were dismissed as malicious or frivolous or for failure to
state a claim for relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). He can only proceed without prepayment of a
fee if his case presents a claim of imminent danger of serious physical injury. See id. No such
claim exists in this action, which is why the Court would not allow him to proceed in forma
pauperis and dismissed the case after he failed to pay the filing fee. Because the “three strikes”
rule applies to appeals as well as cases filed in the district court, see id., Banks cannot appeal in
Further, Banks does not appear to be financially eligible for in forma pauperis status. He
represents in his motions that he owns real estate valued at $250,000, a vehicle valued at
$30,000, and stocks of an unspecified value. He also reports that he has cash or money in a
checking or savings account. Although his handwriting is unclear, it appears in the first-filed
motion (D. 13) that the amount thereof is $50,000. Without further clarification of the amount
and nature of these alleged assets, the Court cannot conclude that he is unable to pay the appeal
The motions to appeal in forma pauperis (D. 13, 14) are DENIED. Banks may file a
motion to appeal in forma pauperis with the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
within 30 days of service of this order.
See Fed. R. App. P. 24(a)(5).
immediately transmit this order to the First Circuit.
/s/ Denise J. Casper
United States District Judge
The Clerk shall
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