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Taylor v. Wells

United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division

April 13, 2018

ROBERT MATE TAYLOR, AIS 130155, Plaintiff,
v.
DANIEL WELLS, Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          P. BRADLEY MURRAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Robert Taylor, an Alabama prison inmate proceeding pro se, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and a motion to proceed without prepayment of fees.[1] (Docs. 1, 2, 4). Upon review of the complaint and Taylor's litigation history, it is recommended that this action be dismissed without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), because Taylor is barred from proceeding in forma pauperis and did not pay the filing fee at the time he filed this action.[2]

         I. Section 1915(g) and Taylor's Litigation History.

         Section 1915(g) provides:

In no event shall a prisoner bring a civil action or appeal a judgment in a civil action or proceeding under this section [28 U.S.C. § 1915] 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 purpose of this section is to curb abusive prisoner litigation by requiring a prisoner who has had three actions or appeals dismissed as meritless to pay the full filing fee when his next action is filed. Dupree v. Palmer, 284 F.3d 1234, 1236 (11th Cir. 2002). “The only exception to section 1915(g) is if the frequent filer prisoner is ‘under imminent danger of serious physical injury.'” Rivera v. Allin, 144 F.3d 719, 723 (11th Cir. 1998), abrogated on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 215-16 (2007).

         Because Taylor sought leave to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court reviewed the records of the United States District Court for the Southern, Middle, and Northern Districts of Alabama to determine if he has three or more actions and appeals that were dismissed on the grounds that they were frivolous, malicious, or failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. From those dockets, the Court discovered that Taylor has had at least three actions dismissed for one of the foregoing reasons, namely, Taylor v. Hale, CA 15-0465-KD-C (S.D. Ala. 2015) (dismissed for failure to state a claim); Taylor v. Robinson, CA 08-0311-SLB-RRA (N.D. Ala. 2008) (dismissed as frivolous and for failure to state a claim); Taylor v. Robinson, CA 06-0590-KOB-RRA (N.D. Ala. 2006) (dismissed as frivolous and for failure to state a claim); and Taylor v. FBI (Montgomery), CA 07-0671-WKW-WC (M.D. Ala. 2007) (dismissed pursuant to § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) (frivolous) and (iii) (seeking damages from a person entitled to immunity from damages)).[3]

         II. Section 1915(g)'s Exception.

          Thus, in order to avoid the dismissal of the present action pursuant to § 1915(g), Taylor must satisfy § 1915(g)'s exception, which requires that at the time of the complaint's filing, he show that he was “under imminent danger of serious physical injury.” See Medberry v. Butler, 185 F.3d 1189, 1193 (11th Cir. 1999) (the imminent danger of serious physical injury must be faced at the time the complaint is filed, not at a prior time); Adbul-Akabar v. McKelvie, 239 F.3d 307, 315 (3d Cir. 2001) (“By using the term ‘imminent, ' Congress indicated that it wanted to include a safety valve for the ‘three strikes' rule to prevent impending harms, not those harms that had already occurred.”), cert. denied, 533 U.S. 953 (2001).

         To determine if § 1915(g)'s exception is met, the “complaint, as a whole, [must] allege[] imminent danger of serious physical injury.” Brown v. Johnson, 387 F.3d 1344, 1350 (11th Cir. 2004). To make this showing, a plaintiff “must allege and provide specific fact allegations of ongoing serious physical injury, or a pattern of misconduct evidencing the likelihood of imminent serious physical injury[.]” Ball v. Allen, 2007 WL 484547, at *1 (S.D. Ala. 2007) (unpublished) (Granade, C.J.). Taylor has not done this.

         In the complaint, Taylor sued Daniel Wells, a person who was hired by his attorney to determine if he was competent to stand trial. (Doc. 4 at 4). According to Taylor, at trial, Defendant Wells was not present, and the judge did not hear any competency information. (Id.). Taylor states that this incident occurred on October 14, 2015 (Id.), which is the date given for his convictions for first-degree arson and for attempted murder. (Id. at 11). Taylor then filed the instant action on August 2, 2017. (Doc. 1).

          Section 1915(g) requires that Taylor be in imminent danger of serious physical injury when the complaint is filed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). Taylor filed his complaint on August 2, 2017 and bases his claims on an event that occurred on October 14, 2015. The Court finds therefore that Taylor was not in imminent danger of serious physical injury when he filed the present action on August 2, 2017. Moreover, his allegations do not describe a serious physical injury, much less an injury that is imminent. Thus, the Court concludes that Taylor has not carried his burden of showing that he was in imminent danger of serious physical injury at the time of filing.

         III. ...


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