United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Western Division
Ryan J. Barnes (R-44872), Plaintiff,
Officer Altizer, et al., Defendants.
G. Reinhard Judge
court denies plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed
in forma pauperis  for “fraud” and
summarily dismisses the complaint with prejudice in view of
plaintiff's failure to advise the court that he is barred
from filing suit until he has paid outstanding fees. The case
is terminated. The court directs the Clerk of Court to enter
final judgment. Plaintiff's motion for attorney
representation  is denied as moot. Having brought this
action, plaintiff nevertheless remains obligated to pay the
full filing fee. Before pursuing any future litigation,
plaintiff must pay any outstanding fees. The court authorizes
and orders the trust fund officer at plaintiff's place of
incarceration to begin making monthly deductions in
accordance with this order until the $400 filing fee is paid
in full. The court directs the Clerk of Court to mail a copy
of this order to the trust fund office at the Dixon
Ryan Barnes, an Illinois state prisoner, has brought this
pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Plaintiff seems to claim that defendants,
officials at the Dixon Correctional Center, violated the
constitutional rights of a fellow inmate by acting with
deliberate indifference to his serious mental health needs.
Plaintiff evidently blames correctional officials for failing
to prevent the other prisoner's suicide. Currently before
the court is plaintiff's application to proceed in
forma pauperis. For the reasons discussed in this order,
the motion is denied.
review of plaintiff's litigation history reveals that he
is currently prohibited from seeking leave to proceed in
forma pauperis due to outstanding filing fees. In
connection with at least two of plaintiff's prior
lawsuits in the Northern District, the courts admonished him
that failure to pay accrued filing fees would preclude his
proceeding in forma pauperis in future cases.
See Barnes v. Illinois, No. 10 CV 0762 (N.D. Ill.)
, Order of June 1, 2010 (Kennelly, J.); Barnes v.
Kaupas, No. 11 CV 1041 (N.D. Ill.) , Order of March
31, 2011 (Pallmeyer, J.).
those two warnings, the court denied plaintiff leave to
proceed in forma pauperis in his next case. See
Barnes v. Taylor, Case No. 11 CV 3976 (N.D. Ill.) ,
Order of June 22, 2011 (Pallmeyer, J.). The court held that
plaintiff was “prohibited from seeking leave to proceed
in forma pauperis until he pays the $700 in back
fees to the Clerk of Court….” Id., p.
2. The court gave plaintiff the opportunity either to (1) pay
the filing fees in his three then-most recent cases, or (2)
show cause why he could not pay the fees immediately.
Id. The court ultimately dismissed that case when
plaintiff failed to pay the $350 filing fee. See
, Order of August 1, 2011 (Pallmeyer, J.). The court finds
no order lifting the filing bar-or even requesting leave to
resume filing lawsuits in the Northern District.
court's Fiscal Department reflects no payments whatsoever
in any of plaintiff's cases in the ensuing six and a half
years. In fact, in at least two of plaintiff's earlier
cases in this district, the courts seem to have neglected to
order the collection of filing fees. See, e.g., Barnes v.
Kaupas, Case No. 10 CV 1184 (N.D. Ill.); and Barnes
v. Will County, Case No. 14 CV 2275 (N.D. Ill.). But as
plaintiff has been advised time and again, he remains
obligated to pay the full filing fees in all of his cases,
irrespective of their dismissal. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b)(1) (“[I]f a prisoner brings a civil
action … the prisoner shall be required to pay the
full amount of a filing fee”); Taylor v.
Brown, 787 F.3d 851, 858 n.8 (7th Cir. 2015) (same);
Durr v. Cty. of Cook, No. 17 CV 50015, 2017 WL
1545642, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 28, 2017) (Kapala, J.) (same).
Plaintiff cannot reasonably claim ignorance of this
requirement given repeated court admonishments concerning
his knowledge that he is ineligible for in forma
pauperis status, plaintiff has sought leave to proceed
in forma pauperis in this matter, and without
disclosing the filing bar to this court. Consequently, this
suit must be dismissed both for nonpayment and as a sanction
for misconduct. See Ammons v. Gerlinger, 547 F.3d
724, 725 (7th Cir. 2008) (“Plaintiffs who attempt to
deceive federal judges, and evade their obligation to pay all
required fees and costs, cannot expect favorable
treatment....”) (citing Campbell v. Clarke,
481 F.3d 967, 969 (7th Cir. 2007)); see also Sloan v.
Lesza, 181 F.3d 857, 858-59 (7th Cir. 1999)
(“fraud” on the court must “lead to
immediate termination of the suit”). Moreover, because
the courts have already warned plaintiff about the filing
bar, this court need not give him extra time either to pay
the statutory filing fee or to establish his indigence.
Sloan, 181 F.3d at 859.
court's general approach, which would be to determine a
prisoner's responsibility for nonpayment before
dismissing the case, see Thomas v. Butts, 745 F.3d
309, 312-13 (7th Cir. 2014), is not appropriate under the
circumstances of this case. Plaintiff's IFP application
reflects multiple purchases at the prison commissary.
“Prisoners who insist on both filing suits and
spending their income as fast as they receive it” will
find court options closed to them. Lewis v.
Sullivan, 279 F.3d 526, 530-31 (7th Cir. 2002); see
also Merritte v. Templeton, 493 F. App'x 782, 784-85
(7th Cir. 2012) (affirming district court's denial of IFP
status where plaintiff elected to spend his income in the
prison canteen rather than on the filing fee) (citing
Roller v. Gunn, 107 F.3d 227, 233 (4th Cir. 1997)
(“If a prisoner determines that his funds are better
spent on other items rather than filing a civil rights suit,
he has demonstrated an implied evaluation of that suit that
the courts should be entitled to honor”) (internal
quotation marks omitted)). Having filed at least eleven
lawsuits, plaintiff should have been paying 100% of his
income to the courts. Bruce v. Samuels, 136 S.Ct.
627, 632 (2016). Plaintiff cannot ignore his payment
obligations and then seek IFP status, particularly after
receiving warnings about his commitments.
foregoing reasons, the court denies plaintiff's
application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis
and summarily dismisses the complaint with prejudice for
“fraud.” The case is terminated. The court
directs the Clerk of Court to enter final judgment. But
again, having brought this action, plaintiff remains
obligated to pay the full $400 filing fee. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Before pursuing any future
litigation, plaintiff must pay any outstanding fees. To that
end, the court authorizes plaintiff's trust fund officer
to begin collecting-and remitting to the Clerk of
Court-twenty percent of any money plaintiff receives for each
calendar month during which he receives $10.00 or more, until
the $400 filing fee is paid in full. The court directs the
Clerk of Court to ensure that a copy of this order is mailed
to each facility where plaintiff is housed until the filing
fee has been paid in full. All payments shall be sent to the
Clerk of Court, United States District Court, 219 South
Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604, attn: Cashier's
Desk, 20th Floor, and shall clearly identify plaintiff's
name and the case number assigned to this case.
of the dismissal of this case for fraud and for nonpayment,
the court has no occasion to consider such questions as
whether plaintiff has standing to sue and/or whether this
lawsuit is legally frivolous, as that standard is discussed
in Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32 (1992),
and Lee v. Clinton, 209 F.3d 1025, 1026 (7th Cir.
2000); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679
(2009); Edwards v. Snyder, 478 F.3d 827, 829 (7th
plaintiff wishes to appeal, he must file a notice of appeal
with this court within thirty days of the entry of judgment.
See Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(1). If plaintiff appeals,
he will be liable for the $505.00 appellate filing fee
regardless of the appeal's outcome. See Evans v. Ill.
Dep't of Corr., 150 F.3d 810, 812 (7th Cir. 1998).
If the Court of Appeals should find the appeal to be
non-meritorious, plaintiff could be assessed a
“strike” under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). If a
prisoner accumulates three “strikes” because
three federal cases or appeals have been dismissed as
frivolous or malicious, or for failure to state a claim, the
prisoner may not file suit in federal court without
pre-paying the filing fee unless he or she is in imminent
danger of serious physical injury. Id. If plaintiff
seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal,
he must file a motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis in this court. See Fed. R. App. P.
need not file a motion to reconsider this court's ruling
to preserve his appellate rights. However, if plaintiff
wishes the court to reconsider its judgment, he may file a
motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) or 60(b).
Any Rule 59(e) motion must be filed within 28 days of the
entry of this judgment. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e).
The time to file a motion pursuant to Rule 59(e) cannot be
extended. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(b)(2). A timely Rule
59(e) motion suspends the deadline for filing an appeal until
the Rule 59(e) motion is ruled upon. See Fed. R.
App. P. 4(a)(4)(A)(iv). Any Rule 60(b) motion must be filed
within a reasonable time and, if seeking relief under Rule
60(b)(1), (2), or (3), must be filed no more than one year
after entry of the judgment or order. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 60(c)(1). The time to file a Rule 60(b) motion cannot
be extended. See ...