Ward v. Boleski et al
ORDER DISMISSING Complaint Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.§1915(a) and Certifying that any appeal taken by Plaintiff would not be done in good faith Signed by District Judge Robert H. Cleland. (LWag)
Case 3:21-cv-11766-RHC-APP ECF No. 5, PageID.32 Filed 01/11/22 Page 1 of 5
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 3:21-CV-11766
BOLESKI, et. al.,
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)
This matter is before the court on Plaintiff Nathaniel Ward-El’s pro se civil rights
complaint filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is a state prisoner who is
incarcerated at the St. Louis Correctional Facility in St. Louis, Michigan. Upon review of
Plaintiff’s case and his litigation history in the federal courts, this court concludes that
his civil rights complaint must be dismissed without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
Title 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a) provides that “[t]he clerk of each district court shall
require the parties instituting any civil action, suit or proceeding in such court, whether
by original process, removal or otherwise, to pay a filing fee of $350.” See Owens v.
Keeling, 461 F. 3d 763, 773 (6th Cir. 2006). Plaintiff failed to provide the $350.00 filing
fee, plus a $ 52.00 administrative fee, when he filed his complaint. The Prisoner
Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PLRA) states that “if a prisoner brings a civil action or
Case 3:21-cv-11766-RHC-APP ECF No. 5, PageID.33 Filed 01/11/22 Page 2 of 5
files an appeal in forma pauperis, the prisoner shall be required to pay the full amount of
a filing fee.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)(as amended). See also In Re Prison Litigation
Reform Act, 105 F. 3d 1131, 1138 (6th Cir. 1997). The in forma pauperis statute, 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a), gives prisoners the opportunity to make a “downpayment” of a partial
filing fee and pay the remainder in installments. See Miller v. Campbell, 108 F. Supp. 2d
960, 962 (W.D. Tenn. 2000).
A search of federal court records indicates that Plaintiff has three prior civil rights
complaints that were dismissed by federal courts for being frivolous, malicious, or for
failing to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Ward-El v. O'Connor, No. 1214729, 2012 WL 5471140 (E.D. Mich. Nov. 9, 2012), aff’d, No. 12-2579 (6th Cir. July
15, 2013); Ward v. Dunklow, No. 1:13-CV-304, 2013 WL 3336616 (W.D. Mich. July 2,
2013), aff’d No. 13-1991 (6th Cir. Jan. 24, 2014); cert. den. 572 U.S. 1154 (2014); Ward
v. Marietti, No. 1:15-CV-295, 2015 WL 1781516 (W.D. Mich. Apr. 20, 2015).
Plaintiff requested to proceed without prepayment of fees. However, under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(g):
In no event shall a prisoner bring a civil action or appeal a judgment in a
civil action or proceeding under this section if the prisoner has, on 3 or more
prior occasions, while incarcerated or detained in any facility, brought an
action or appeal in a court of the United States that was dismissed on the
grounds that it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, unless the prisoner is under imminent danger of
serious physical injury.
Case 3:21-cv-11766-RHC-APP ECF No. 5, PageID.34 Filed 01/11/22 Page 3 of 5
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), a federal court must dismiss a case if, on three
or more previous occasions, a federal court dismissed the incarcerated plaintiff’s
previous actions because they were frivolous or malicious or failed to state a claim for
which relief may be granted. Thaddeus-X v. Blatter, 175 F. 3d 378, 400 (6th Cir. 1999);
Witzke v. Hiller, 966 F. Supp. 538, 540 (E.D. Mich. 1997)(Gadola, J.). The three strikes
provision of the PLRA prohibits a prisoner from proceeding in forma pauperis in a civil
rights suit absent an allegation that the prisoner is in imminent danger of serious
physical injury. See Clemons v. Young, 240 F. Supp. 2d 639, 641 (E.D. Mich.
2003)(Lawson, J.). A federal district court may raise the three strikes provision of the
PLRA on its own initiative. Witzke, 966 F. Supp. at 539.
Plaintiff has three prior civil rights complaints which were dismissed by a federal
district court for being frivolous, malicious, or failing to state a claim upon which relief
could be granted.
Plaintiff does not allege any facts which would establish that he is in imminent
danger of serious physical injury, and thus, he does not come within the exception to
the mandate of 28 U.S.C.§ 1915(g), which prohibits him from proceeding in forma
Two of these dismissals were affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the
Sixth Circuit on appeal. These two affirmances could arguably count as separate
strikes under § 1915(g). An appellate court’s affirmance of a district court’s dismissal of
a prisoner civil action counts as a separate strike, for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g),
so long as the appellate court implicated § 1915(g) reasons for affirming the district
court’s dismissal. See Taylor v. First Med. Mgmt., 508 F. App’x. 488, 494 (6th Cir.
2012). This includes cases in which the appellate court finds a prisoner’s action to be
frivolous but “erroneously styles its dismissal as an affirmance.” Id., p. 495, n. 5.
Case 3:21-cv-11766-RHC-APP ECF No. 5, PageID.35 Filed 01/11/22 Page 4 of 5
pauperis in light of his three prior strikes. Mulazim v. Michigan Dept. of Corrections, 28
F. App’x. 470, 472 (6th Cir. 2002).
Plaintiff’s civil rights complaint is subject to dismissal pursuant to § 1915(g).
Plaintiff, may, however, resume any of the claims dismissed under § 1915(g) if he
decides to pay the filing fee under the fee provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1914. Witzke, 966
F. Supp. at 540.
Plaintiff’s three strikes under § 1915(g) bars him from appealing in forma
pauperis. See Drummer v. Luttrell, 75 F. Supp. 2d 796, 805-806 (W.D. Tenn. 1999).
The court refuses to certify that any appeal from this dismissal would be in good faith.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff Nathaniel Ward-El’s in forma pauperis
status is DENIED and the complaint [Dkt # 1] is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED AND CERTIFIED that any appeal taken by Plaintiff
would not be done in good faith.
s/Robert H. Cleland
ROBERT H. CLELAND
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: January 11, 2022
Case 3:21-cv-11766-RHC-APP ECF No. 5, PageID.36 Filed 01/11/22 Page 5 of 5
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was mailed to counsel of record
on this date, January 11, 2022, by electronic and/or ordinary mail.
s/Lisa G. Wagner
Case Manager and Deputy Clerk
S:\Cleland\Cleland\JUDGE'S DESK\C3 ORDERS\21-11766.WARD.ThreeStrikesDismissal.db.chd.docx
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?