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Taylor v. Carig

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

December 9, 2019

KENNADO K. TAYLOR, Plaintiff,
v.
TAMMI CRAIG, LORI DAMMERMANN, CASEY TERRENCE, DENNIS SCHNOEKER, JEFF DANCY, JOHN DOE, BRYAN, and SARA THOMAS, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Kennado K. Taylor, an apparent pretrial detainee currently detained at Chester Mental Health Center (“Chester”), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming imminent danger of serious physical injury. According to the Complaint, Defendants are retaliating against him for filing a previous lawsuit by failing to provide for his physical safety and medical treatment for injuries. He seeks monetary damages.[1]

         This case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires the Court to screen prisoner complaints to filter out nonmeritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion of the Complaint that is legally frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or requests money damages from an immune defendant must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). Along with the Complaint, Taylor filed a Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP Motion”). (Doc. 2). Before screening the Complaint, the Court must first address Taylor's eligibility for IFP status. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).

         In Forma Pauperis Motion

         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.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).

         The Public Access to Court Electronic Records (“PACER”) website (www.pacer.gov) reveals that Taylor has had three other cases dismissed with prejudice on the basis that his claims were barred by the doctrine of res judicata, and two cases dismissed for failure to state a claim. See Taylor v. Doe, et al., No. 17-cv-2347 (N.D. Ill. dismissed June 2, 2017); Taylor v. Doe, et al., No. 17-cv-2348 (N.D. Ill. dismissed June 2, 2017); Taylor v. Doe, et al., No. 17-cv-2349 (N.D. Ill. dismissed June 5, 2017); Taylor v. Doe, et al., No. 17-cv-5537 (N.D. Ill. dismissed September 22, 2017); Taylor v. Doe, et al., No. 17-cv-6001 (N.D. Ill. dismissed September 22, 2017); see also Walker v. Page, 59 Fed.Appx. 896, 900 (7th Cir. 2003) (granting the plaintiff a “strike” under the PLRA for bringing an action barred by res judicata). Thus, Taylor has accumulated five “strikes” for purposes of Section 1915(g), and 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 Section 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)). Courts “deny leave to proceed IFP when a prisoner's claims of imminent danger are conclusory or ridiculous.” Id. 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 [as a pauper].” Id. at 330 (citing Abdul-Wadood v. Nathan, 91 F.3d 1023 (7th Cir. 1996)).

         Here, Taylor states that he is in imminent danger because other inmates are continually trying to fight him, and he is being beaten by staff member John Doe. He also claims that he has serious physical injuries that remain untreated. (Doc. 1, pp. 6-7). Because Taylor claims that his physical injuries are current and ongoing, his IFP Motion will be GRANTED. The initial partial filing fee and payment scheme will be set forth in a separate order.

         The Court further notes that in the Complaint, Taylor indicates he has filed previous lawsuits in federal court, but states that he does not have copies of the dockets, and thus, he does not have the case numbers to provide a list. (Doc. 1, p. 5). He does not, however, inform the Court that he has received over three strikes under Section 1915(g) or that he has filed over fifty civil cases in various federal courts within the Seventh Circuit.[2] In a previous civil case filed this year by Taylor in this Court, he not only disclosed that he had three strikes, but the Court also informed Taylor that he has had five strikes and provided him a list of the cases. Taylor v. Dammerann, No. 19-cv-00497 (S.D. Ill. May 15, 2019) (Doc. 4-order dismissing IFP motion). Taylor is therefore WARNED that any future failure to disclose his litigation history or provide the Court with misrepresentations or fraudulent information, particularly when he seeks to proceed IFP, may result in sanctions, including fines and immediate dismissal of the suit. Hoskins v. Dart, 633 F.3d 541, 543 (7th Cir. 2011) (dismissal with prejudice appropriate where Court-issued complaint form clearly warned Taylor that failure to provide litigation history would result in dismissal); Ammons v. Gerlinger, 547 F.3d 724, 725 (7th Cir. 2008) (termination of suit is an appropriate sanction for struck-out prisoner who took advantage of court's oversight and was granted leave to proceed IFP); Sloan v. Lesza, 181 F.3d 857, 858-59 (7th Cir. 1999) (litigant who sought and obtained leave to proceed IFP without disclosing his three-strike status committed a fraud upon the court).

         The Complaint

         Taylor alleges that he has been involved in more than ten fights with other inmates, and they continue to try to fight him. He is also repeatedly being beaten by staff member John Doe. (Doc. 1, pp. 6-7). On November 26, 2019, Taylor alleges that he told staff at Chester that his life was in danger, but they refused to protect him. He also has a broken hand that remains untreated, causing him excruciating pain. Taylor claims that Defendants are not providing him protection for his safety and medical treatment in retaliation for filing a previous lawsuit. (Id. at p. 7).

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to designate the claims in ...


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