United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
CHRISTOPHER W. ODEN, Plaintiff,
J. MUNNEKE, L. OWINGS, RANDALL PASS Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Christopher Oden, an inmate in U.S.P. Marion, brings this
action for deprivations of his constitutional rights,
specifically the denial of single-cell status (necessary for
his mental health treatment) and denial of medical devices.
This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of
the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which
(a) Screening - The court shall review,
before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as
practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity.
(b) Grounds for Dismissal - On review, the
court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the
complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
failure to accurately disclose one's litigation history
is also grounds for dismissal, and because it is apparent
here that Plaintiff has attempted to mislead the Court with
regards to his litigation history, the Court will dismiss
this action with prejudice as a sanction.
than using the Court's pre-printed form, Plaintiff
prepared his own Complaint. However, his preparation closely
tracks the pre-printed form. Specifically, Plaintiff
addresses the question of previous lawsuits. His statement in
its entirety is that “Oden has no other law suits in
state or federal court relating to the Defendant 1, 2, 3
listed herein.” (Doc. 1, p. 7).
despite the intimation of that statement, Plaintiff is quite
the prolific filer. A review of the PACER system shows that
Plaintiff has filed at least 13 other federal
actions: Oden v. Wilson,
18-cv-183-JAG-RCY (E.D. Va. 2018); Oden v. Mcormick,
18-cv-154-JAG-RCY (E.D. Va. 2018); Oden v. Wilson,
17-cv-0489-JAG-RCY (E.D. Va. 2017); Oden v. True,
18-cv-600-MJR (S.D. Ill. 2018); Oden v. Wilson,
18-6698 (4th Cir. 2018); Oden v. United States,
16-cv-047-JPB-JES (N.D. W.Va 2016); Oden v. State of
North Carolina, 16-cv-193-JAG-RCY (E. D. Va. 2016);
Oden v. Wilson, 16-cv-110 (E.D. Va. 2016); Oden
v. Wilson, 17-cv-286-RCY (E.D. Va. 2017); Oden v.
Wilson, 16-cv-307-JAG-RCY (E.D. Va. 2016); Oden v.
Wilson, 15-cv-196-JAG-RCY (E.D. Va. 2015); In Re
Christopher Oden, 15-2308 (4th Cir. 2015); and Oden
v. Wilson, 16-7680 (4th Cir. 2016).
courts may dismiss litigation without further warning or
opportunity to cure in the event that a litigant makes
material and intentional omissions in filing his complaint.
Hoskins v. Dart, 633 F.3d 541, 543-44 (7th Cir.
2011). A pro-se prisoner's litigation history is material
because that that information enables a court to manage its
docket and adhere to the 3-strikes requirement of 28 U.S.C.
1915(g). Id. at 544.
has attempted to comply with the disclosure requirement by
specifically stating that he has not filed another lawsuit
against the specific defendants named in this suit. But that
is not the requirement; the Court's form asks about
“any other lawsuits in state or federal court relating
to your imprisonment.” While Plaintiff's
interpretation may address the concern about duplicative
litigation, it does nothing to assist the Court in assessing
the application of the three-strikes requirement.
Plaintiff did not use the form, he has in the past.
Plaintiff's Complaint in 17-cv-489-JAG-RCY (E.D. Va.),
filed less than 12 months prior to this one, uses a standard
complaint form with similar language: “Have you ever
begun other lawsuits in state or federal court relating to
your imprisonment?” (17-489, Doc. 1). Plaintiff was on
notice that he was obligated to disclose his litigation
history and that the standard question was far broader than
the question he chose to answer in this suit. Moreover, that
complaint demonstrates a pattern of obscuration; Plaintiff
checked the “no” box in response to that
question, despite that fact that he had filed at least 8
other lawsuits prior to that suit, 1 of which was filed mere
months before. (17-489, Doc. 1, pp. 2-4). Plaintiff has also
failed to disclose his litigation history in his other