United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Orangeburg Division
ORDER AND OPINION
Richard Mark Gergel United States District Court Judge
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff s motion to
reconsider. On December 13, 2017, the Court denied Plaintiffs
motion for a temporary restraining order, dismissed the
complaint with prejudice, and notified Plaintiff that the
Court is considering the imposition of a prefiling injunction
against Plaintiff and directed Plaintiff to show cause why an
injunction should not be imposed. For the reasons set forth
below, the Court denies the motion to reconsider and imposes
a prefiling injunction.
is serving an 18-year sentence for armed robbery at the Perry
Correctional Institution of the South Carolina Department of
Corrections. Plaintiff claims that prison guards are
harassing him and conspiring with inmates to kill him.
Plaintiff seeks several hundred thousand dollars in damages
and an order transferring him to the Maricopa County Jail in
Court noted in its Order of December 13, 2017, Plaintiff is
an extreme serial litigant who has filed at least 23 other
actions in this Court, 8 actions in the Richland County Court
of Common Pleas, and 7 mandamus actions in the Fourth
Circuit. Plaintiffs ability to file in forma
pauperis was revoked years ago under the three-strike
provision of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g) for frivolous filings.
Kg., Cabbagestalk v. Smith, Civ. No. 5:14-268-RMG
(D.S.C. May 2, 2014). That has not prevented Plaintiff from
continuing to file frivolous lawsuits. Plaintiff often
invokes the "imminent danger of serious physical
injury" exception to the three-strike rule.
(See Dkt. No. 9 at 1-2.) Here, Plaintiff alleges
that prison guards and inmates are conspiring to kill him.
Court previously held that Plaintiffs complaint and motion
for a restraining order do not present a plausible claim that
Plaintiff is in imminent danger of serious physical injury.
Plaintiff now moves for reconsideration. Like all of
Plaintiffs filings, Plaintiffs motion to reconsider is
rambling and difficult to decipher. He argues that the South
Carolina Department of Corrections "has murdered
(over) (5) of my comrad[e]s" and he
repeatedly states his claims that various persons are trying
to kill him and that judges who rule against his claim are
biased. (Dkt. No. 34.) He also claims he never asked for
transfer to the Maricopa County Jail in Arizona, but rather
only asked to be removed from the custody of the State of
South Carolina. That distinction is both immaterial and
false-Plaintiff specifically asked for transfer to "a
county jail or work release" in Phoenix, Arizona. (Dkt.
No. 21-1 at 2.) Finally, Plaintiff attached to his motion to
reconsider his copy of the Court's order of December 13,
2017 with the words "Void" and "Null"
handwritten over the text.
was directed to explain why a prefiling injunction should not
be imposed. In response, Plaintiff merely states "a
prefiling injunction should not be filed against me because
I'm only doing what the law allows me to do ask for help
from the court (if) my life[']s in danger which it
is." (Dkt. No. 34.) As the Court previously held,
however, wild allegations that prison staff and inmates are
conspiring against Plaintiff are not "magic words"
that permit endless abuse of judicial process. Plaintiffs
forty frivolous lawsuits over the last eleven years is a
clear abuse of process that the Court can no longer tolerate.
Plaintiff was informed that in the Court's view, the only
available option to control his abuse of process is a
prefiling injunction. Plaintiff has now been provided notice
and a meaningful opportunity to be heard. Cf. Cromer v.
Kraft Foods N. Am., Inc., 390 F.3d 812, 819 (4th Cir.
2004). The Court's view remains that the only available
option to control Plaintiffs abuse of judicial process is a
foregoing reasons and for the reasons set forth in the
Court's order of December 13, 2017, and to protect the
courts and any potential defendants from the harassment of
frivolous and vexatious litigation initiated by Plaintiff,
the court issues the following injunctions:
1. The court ENJOINS Plaintiff from filing
any new action or proceeding in any federal court, other than
a petition for habeas relief, without first obtaining leave
of that court; and
2. The court ENJOINS Plaintiff from filing
any further papers in any case, either pending or terminated,
in the District of South Carolina, without first obtaining
leave of court.
injunctions apply only to pro se filings and do not
apply to any action filed by counsel on Plaintiffs behalf.
Leave of court for pro se filings shall be
forthcoming upon Plaintiffs demonstrating through a properly
filed motion that the proposed filing: (1) can survive a
challenge under Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure; (2) is not barred by principles of issue or claim
preclusion; (3) is not repetitive or violative of a court
order; and (4) is in compliance with Rule 11 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure.
of Plaintiff s long history of frivolous filings, the Court
finds it likely Plaintiff will attempt to ignore this Order.
The court therefore ORDERS the Clerk to
refuse to accept any submissions for filing except petitions
for leave of court, unless such filings are accompanied by an
order of this court granting leave. In the event that
Plaintiff succeeds in filing papers in violation of this
order, upon such notice, the Clerk, under authority of this
Order, immediately and summarily shall strike the pleadings
or filings. This Order does not apply to the filing of timely
notices of appeal from this Court to the Court of Appeals and
papers solely in furtherance of such appeal.
is enjoined only from filing frivolous pro se papers
in federal court. Plaintiff may file pro se if he
can show his claims are not frivolous. Actions by counsel on
behalf of Plaintiff are unaffected. Plaintiffs ability to
seek appellate review is unaffected. Plaintiffs ability to
seek habeas relief is unaffected. Plaintiffs access to state
courts is unaffected. The Court therefore finds that ...