Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Balcom v. Valenza

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

April 12, 2019

RONALD DEVONE BALCOM, AIS #158439, Plaintiff,
v.
DONALD VALENZA, et al., Defendants.

          RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          CHARLES S. COODY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action is before the court on a complaint filed by Ronald Devone Balcom, a frequent federal litigant who is presently incarcerated at the Houston County Jail. In the instant complaint, Balcom alleges that “there are rats, roaches, and snakes in the storage room, rats have eaten in [loafs] of bread [and are in the peanut butter.] . . . In the middle of the serving island is rat infested, the kitchen smells. Bread has to be thrown away because rats have eat[en] it. . . . [T]here is mold and mildew everywhere.” Doc. 1 at 1. He complains that despite these conditions, “the Health Department gives the Jail a 97” in an effort to “cover[] up for the Jail.” Doc. 1 at 3.

         II. DISCUSSION

         Upon initiation of this case, Balcom filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Doc. 2. However, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g) directs that a prisoner is not allowed to bring a civil action or proceed on appeal in forma pauperis if he “has, on 3 or more 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.”[1] Consequently, an inmate in violation of the “three strikes” provision of § 1915(g) who is not in “imminent danger” of suffering a “serious physical injury” at the time he filed the complaint must pay the filing fee upon initiation of his case. Dupree v. Palmer, 284 F.3d 1234, 1236 (11th Cir. 2002). “The prisoner cannot simply pay the filing fee after being denied in forma pauperis status.” Id.

         The records of this court establish that Balcom, while incarcerated or detained, has on three occasions had civil actions summarily dismissed pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) as frivolous or malicious. The actions on which this court relies in finding a § 1915(g) violation by Balcom are as follows: (1) Balcom v. Blumenfeld, et al., No. 1:09-CV-814-TMH-WC (M.D. Ala. Sept. 30, 2009) (complaint frivolous); (2) Balcom v. Valenza, et al., No. 1:19-CV-132-WHA-CSC (M.D. Ala. Mar. 18, 2019) (complaint malicious); and (3) Balcom v. Culver, et al., No. 1:19-CV-141-WHA-CSC (M.D. Ala. Mar. 18, 2019) (complaint malicious).

         Since Balcom has three strikes, he may not proceed in forma pauperis in this case unless the claims raised in the complaint demonstrate that he was “under imminent danger of serious physical injury” upon initiation of this case. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). In determining whether a plaintiff satisfies this burden, “the issue is whether his complaint, as a whole, alleges imminent danger of serious physical injury.” Brown v. Johnson, 387 F.3d 1344, 1350 (11th Cir. 2004). “A plaintiff must provide the court with specific allegations of present imminent danger indicating that a serious physical injury will result if his claims are not addressed.” Abdullah v. Migoya, 955 F.Supp.2d 1300, 1307 (S.D. Fla. 2013)) (emphasis added); May v. Myers, 2014 WL 3428930, at *2 (S.D. Ala. July 15, 2014) (holding that, to meet the exception to application of § 1915(g)'s three strikes bar, the facts contained in the complaint must show that the plaintiff “was under ‘imminent danger of serious physical injury' at the time he filed this action.”); Lewis v. Sullivan, 279 F.3d 526, 531 (7th Cir. 2002) (holding that imminent danger exception to § 1915(g)'s three strikes rule is construed narrowly and available only “for genuine emergencies, ” where “time is pressing” and “a threat . . . is real and proximate.”).

         Upon a thorough review of the complaint, the court finds that the claims set forth therein do not allege nor in any way indicate Balcom was “under imminent danger of serious physical injury” at the time of filing this cause of action as is required to meet the exception allowing circumvention of the directives contained in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). Medberry v. Butler, 185 F.3d 1189, 1193 (11th Cir. 1999) (holding that a prisoner who has filed three or more frivolous lawsuits or appeals and seeks to proceed in forma pauperis must present facts sufficient to demonstrate “imminent danger of serious physical injury” to circumvent application of the “three strikes” provision of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)).

         Based on the foregoing analysis, the court concludes that this case is due to be summarily dismissed without prejudice as Balcom failed to pay the requisite filing fee upon the initiation of this case. Dupree, 284 F.3d at 1236 (emphasis in original) (“[T]he proper procedure is for the district court to dismiss the complaint without prejudice when it denies the prisoner leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to the provisions of § 1915(g)” because the prisoner “must pay the filing fee at the time he initiates the suit.”); Vanderberg v. Donaldson, 259 F.3d 1321, 1324 (11th Cir. 2001) (holding that “[a]fter the third meritless [and/or malicious] suit, the prisoner must pay the full filing fee at the time he initiates the suit.”).

         III. CONCLUSION

         Accordingly, it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that:

1. The motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis filed by Ronald Devone Balcom (Doc. 2) be DENIED.
2. This case be DISMISSED without prejudice for Balcom's failure to pay the full filing fee upon the initiation of this case.

         On or before April 26, 2019, the plaintiff may file objections to the Recommendation. The plaintiff must specifically identify the factual findings and legal conclusions in the Recommendation to which objection is made. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.