Cromer #211902 v. Snyder et al
OPINION; Order to issue; signed by Judge Janet T. Neff (Judge Janet T. Neff, clb)
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
EDWARD JAMES CROMER,
Case No. 1:17-cv-94
Honorable Janet T. Neff
RICK SNYDER et al.,
This is a action filed by Plaintiff Edward James Cromer, a prisoner incarcerated at
Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Facility in Muskegon Heights, Michigan. Plaintiff filed his action
on or about January 26, 2017. On February 2, 2017, the Court issued an order granting Plaintiff
leave to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 3). After that order was issued, the Court learned that
Plaintiff has filed several civil actions in this Court, three of which have been dismissed as frivolous,
malicious or for failure to state a claim. Because Plaintiff has filed at least three lawsuits that were
dismissed as frivolous, malicious or for failure to state a claim, he is barred from proceeding in
forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). The Court will order Plaintiff to pay the $400.00 civil
action filing fee applicable to those not permitted to proceed in forma pauperis within twenty-eight
(28) days of this opinion and accompanying order. If Plaintiff fails to do so, the Court will order
that his action be dismissed without prejudice. Even if the case is dismissed, Plaintiff will be
responsible for payment of the $400.00 filing fee in accordance with In re Alea, 286 F.3d 378, 380-
81 (6th Cir. 2002). The Court also will vacate the order for service. The order for service may be
reissued should Plaintiff pay the filing fee within the time provided by the Court.
The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321
(1996), which was enacted on April 26, 1996, amended the procedural rules governing a prisoner’s
request for the privilege of proceeding in forma pauperis. As the Sixth Circuit has stated, the PLRA
was “aimed at the skyrocketing numbers of claims filed by prisoners – many of which are
meritless – and the corresponding burden those filings have placed on the federal courts.” Hampton
v. Hobbs, 106 F.3d 1281, 1286 (6th Cir. 1997). For that reason, Congress put into place economic
incentives to prompt a prisoner to “stop and think” before filing a complaint. Id. For example, a
prisoner is liable for the civil action filing fee, and if the prisoner qualifies to proceed in forma
pauperis, the prisoner may pay the fee through partial payments as outlined in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b).
The constitutionality of the fee requirements of the PLRA has been upheld by the Sixth Circuit. Id.
In addition, another provision reinforces the “stop and think” aspect of the PLRA by
preventing a prisoner from proceeding in forma pauperis when the prisoner repeatedly files meritless
lawsuits. Known as the “three-strikes” rule, the provision states:
In no event shall a prisoner bring a civil action or appeal a judgment
in a civil action or proceeding under [the section governing proceedings in forma pauperis] 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.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). The statutory restriction “[i]n no event,” found in § 1915(g), is express and
unequivocal. The statute does allow an exception for a prisoner who is “under imminent danger of
serious physical injury.” The Sixth Circuit has upheld the constitutionality of the “three-strikes” rule
against arguments that it violates equal protection, the right of access to the courts, and due process,
and that it constitutes a bill of attainder and is ex post facto legislation. Wilson v. Yaklich, 148 F.3d
596, 604-06 (6th Cir. 1998); accord Pointer v. Wilkinson, 502 F.3d 369, 377 (6th Cir. 2007) (citing
Wilson, 148 F.3d at 604-06); Rodriguez v. Cook, 169 F.3d 1176, 1178-82 (9th Cir. 1999); Rivera
v. Allin, 144 F.3d 719, 723-26 (11th Cir. 1998); Carson v. Johnson, 112 F.3d 818, 821-22 (5th Cir.
Plaintiff has been an active litigant in the federal courts. At the time Plaintiff filed
the instant action, this Court had dismissed three of his lawsuits for failure to state a claim. See
(1) Cromer v. Masker, 2:13-cv-15 (W.D. Mich. Apr. 9, 2013); (2) Cromer v. United States of
America, 2:16-cv-94 (W.D. Mich. June 29, 2016); and (3) Cromer v. Place, 2:16-cv-108 (W.D.
Mich. Sept. 30, 2016). Moreover, Plaintiff’s allegations do not fall within the exception to the
three-strikes rule because he does not allege any facts establishing that he is under imminent danger
of serious physical injury.
In light of the foregoing, § 1915(g) prohibits Plaintiff from proceeding in forma
pauperis in this action. Consequently, the Court’s order granting Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma
pauperis will be vacated. Plaintiff has twenty-eight (28) days from the date of entry of this order
to pay the entire civil action filing fee, which is $400.00. If Plaintiff fails to pay the filing fee within
the 28-day period, his case will be dismissed without prejudice, but he will continue to be
responsible for payment of the $400.00 filing fee.
An Order consistent with this Opinion shall be entered.
Dated: February 16, 2017
/s/ Janet T. Neff
Janet T. Neff
United States District Judge
SEND REMITTANCES TO THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:
Clerk, U.S. District Court
399 Federal Building
110 Michigan Street, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
All checks or other forms of payment shall be payable to “Clerk, U.S. District Court.”
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?