United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
DANNEL M. MITCHELL, #R-07374, Plaintiff,
WEXFORD HEALTH CARE SERVICES, DR. CALDWELL, DR. AFUWAPE, MS. KLEIN, MARY JOHNSON, JACY FULK, PATRICK M. MICHEL, JESSICA TOMPKINS, CRAPHEART, JENNIFER BEHRENDS, SETH TOWNSEND, DEBBIE GARRETT, DR. DAVID, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS HOSPITAL, JEREMY YOUNG, MANESH PATEL, CRAIG FOSTER, MS. HARTER, MS. PIERCE, MR. FATHEREE, MR. GRAUPE, MS. RAWCLIFFE, G. RHINE, MS. TRAVELLING-TECRONE, S. ENGLER, B. ALLARD, ASSISTANT WARDEN HUTCHINSON, WARDEN DENNISON, MS. SMOOT, JOHN BALDWIN, SHERRY BENTON, and CHARLES PECK, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN U.S. CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE
Dannel Mitchell, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at
Western Illinois Correctional Center (“Western
Illinois”), brings this civil rights action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 against thirty-two officials at
Vandalia Correctional Center (“Vandalia”),
Shawnee Correctional Center (“Shawnee”), and
Vienna Correctional Center (“Vienna”) for
violations of his constitutional rights. (Doc. 5). In the
Complaint, Plaintiff claims that these officials did not
provide him with adequate medical care in 2015 and 2016.
(Doc. 5). He seeks monetary damages. (Doc. 1, p. 22).
with the Complaint, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to
Proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP
Motion”). (Doc. 2). Before screening the Complaint
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court must first address
Plaintiff's eligibility for IFP status in this case. 28
U.S.C. § 1914(a). Because Plaintiff is unable to satisfy
28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), the IFP Motion must be
seeks the Court's permission to proceed without prepaying
the full $400.00filing fee for this action. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1914(a). Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915, a federal court
may permit a prisoner who is indigent to bring a “suit,
action or proceeding, civil or criminal, ” without
prepayment of fees upon presentation of an affidavit stating
the prisoner's assets together with “the nature of
the action . . . and affiant's belief that the person is
entitled to redress.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). In
the case of civil actions, a prisoner's affidavit of
indigence must be accompanied by “a certified copy of
the trust fund account statement (or institutional
equivalent) for the prisoner for the 6-month period
immediately preceding the filing of the complaint . . .,
obtained from the appropriate official of each prison at
which the prisoner is or was confined.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(2). Plaintiff's IFP Motion satisfies these
so, Plaintiff is barred from proceeding IFP under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(g). Section 1915(g) prohibits a prisoner from
bringing a civil action or appealing a civil judgment IFP,
“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.” See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(g). Plaintiff “struck out” under §
1915(g) before filing this action and is therefore subject to
the three-strikes bar. (Doc. 5, pp. 5-6).
Public Access to Court Electronic Records
(“PACER”) website (www.pacer.gov) reveals that
Plaintiff filed more than three prior civil actions that were
dismissed as frivolous, malicious, or for failure to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted. See Henson v. CSC
Credit Servs., 29 F.3d 280, 284 (7th Cir. 1994) (courts
can take judicial notice of public records which include
court records). These lawsuits include Mitchell v.
Baldwin, No. 16-cv-0278-NJR (S.D. Ill. dismissed Aug. 9,
2016); Mitchell v. Lupert, No. 16-cv-00486-SMY (S.D.
Ill. dismissed June 14, 2016); Mitchell v. Dennison,
No. 16-cv-01189-MJR (S.D. Ill. dismissed Jan. 12, 2017); and
Mitchell v. Gateway Found., No. 17-cv-02741 (N.D.
Ill. dismissed April 27, 2017). Each of these dismissals
counts as a “strike” under § 1915(g).
Plaintiff has “struck out” under § 1915(g),
he cannot proceed IFP unless he is under imminent danger of
serious physical injury. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
“[I]mminent danger” within the meaning of §
1915(g) requires a “real and proximate” threat of
serious physical injury to a prisoner. Ciarpaglini v.
Saini, 352 F.3d 328, 330 (7th Cir. 2003) (citing
Lewis v. Sullivan, 279 F.3d 526, 529 (7th Cir.
2002)). In general, courts “deny leave to proceed IFP
when a prisoner's claims of imminent danger are
conclusory or ridiculous.” Ciarpaglini, 352
F.3d at 331 (citing Heimermann v. Litscher, 337 F.3d
781, 782 (7th Cir. 2003)). Additionally, “[a]llegations
of past harm do not suffice” to show imminent danger;
rather, “the harm must be imminent or occurring at the
time the complaint is filed, ” and when prisoners
“allege only a past injury that has not recurred,
courts deny them leave to proceed IFP.” Id. at
330 (citing Abdul-Wadood v. Nathan, 91 F.3d 1023
(7th Cir. 1996)).
allegations in the Complaint do not support Plaintiff's
assertion that he is in imminent danger of serious physical
injury. (Doc. 5). Plaintiff's claims focus on events that
occurred at various prisons in 2015 and 2016. Id. In
the Complaint, he alleges that various prison officials were
deliberately indifferent to his various medical needs and
discriminated against him in violation of the Americans with
Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, causing
Plaintiff psychological harm and exasperating his physical
ailments. (Doc. 5, pp. 20-21). Plaintiff seeks monetary
damages from the defendants. (Doc. 5, p. 22).
Complaint focuses on past injuries. The conduct giving rise
to Plaintiff's claims took place in 2015 and 2016. (Doc.
5). The events giving rise to this action allegedly occurred
at Vandalia, Shawnee, and Vienna. Id. However,
Plaintiff is no longer housed there. (Doc. 5, p. 2). He is
currently housed at Western Illinois. Id. None of
his claims pertain to his current confinement. Id.
Past injuries, such as those described in the Complaint, do
not support a finding of imminent danger under §
1915(g). See Ciarpaglini, 352 F.3d at 330.
nonetheless insists that he is in imminent danger of serious
physical injury. (Doc. 5, p. 7). In a one-page statement that
he filed with the Complaint, he explains:
Because of defendant's negligence I grossly continue to
suffer from P.T.S.D., Major Depression, and anxiety because
of the horrid injuries of wanton neglect caused to my person
by defendant's. In-which, I am currently taking Rem[e]ron
for major depression, bus[p]ar for anxiety, and Pr[a]z[o]sin
for nightmares. Defendant's named in this complaint
knowingly participated in voluntered negligence, and
deliberate indifference /w purposeful intent to harm, and
place in danger, Defendant's liable actions has placed me
in danger of being suceptible to commit suicide. Therefore,
placeing me in imminent, irreparable danger of permanent
injury. The thought's of committing suicide plaintiff
suffer from caused by defendant's is imminent because of
the lack of attention (ignoreing) the relief I seek. The
defendant's interference /w unconstitutional policies,
practices /w act's of injustice caused violations to my
inalienable constitutional right's in my vulnerable state
has left me hopeless, [and] helpless. I now have no faith in
God leaveing me an atheist. I do not see the purpose of my
living in a civilized soceity that placed me in the care of
state actor's whom has confused me. In, conclusion I am
in imminent danger of serious physical injuries, and or
irreparable harm to self because of defendant's hateful
crimes of negligence. The defendant's purposeful
act's of punishment of discrimination has left me in
(Doc. 5, p. 7). Plaintiff submitted virtually the same
statement with six other complaints that he filed in this
District between January 22, 2018, and February 1, 2018.
See Mitchell v. Dennison, No. 18-cv-00118-DRH (S.D.
Ill. Jan. 22, 2018) (Doc. 1, p. 6); Mitchell v.
Foster, No. 18-cv-00120-MJR (S.D. Ill. filed Jan. 22,
2018) (Doc. 1, p. 4); Mitchell v. Heberer, No.
18-cv-00121-DRH (S.D. Ill. filed Jan. 22, 2018) (Doc. 1, p.
6); Mitchell v. Pace, No. 18-cv-00122-MJR (S.D. Ill.
filed Jan. 22, 2018) (Doc. 1, p. 6); Mitchell v.
Baldwin, No. 18-cv-00123-SMY (S.D. Ill. Jan. 22, 2018)
(Doc. 1, p. 6); Mitchell v. Jackson-Pearson, No.
18-cv-00158-SMY-DGW (S.D. Ill. Feb. 1, 2018) (Doc. 5, p. 5)
(transferred Feb. 2, 2018). None of these complaints address
the denial of medical and/or mental health care at Western
Illinois, where he is currently confined, although the
one-page statement focuses on that particular deprivation.
also filed two other lawsuits in this District that focused
on medical care claims against officials at Western Illinois.
Both cases were transferred to the Central District of
Illinois. Mitchell v. Watson, No. 18-cv-00110-NJR
(S.D. Ill. filed Jan. 19, 2018) (transferred Jan. 22, 2018);
Mitchell v. Watson, No. 18-cv-00136-SMY (S.D. Ill.
filed Jan. 25, 2018) (transferred Jan. 29, 2018). Although
Plaintiff's claim of imminent danger may support his
request for IFP status in one or both of those cases,
is unrelated to the claims he asserts against officials at
Vandalia, Vienna, ...