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Randolph v. New York State Correctional Facility

United States District Court, N.D. New York

January 13, 2020

RYAN RANDOLPH, Plaintiff,
v.
NEW YORK STATE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY and JOHN DOE, Defendants.

          RYAN RANDOLPH Plaintiff, pro se Mid-State Correctional Facility.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          Brenda K. Sannes United States District Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         The Clerk has sent to the Court for review a pro se civil rights Complaint filed by plaintiff Ryan Randolph ("Plaintiff") pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983"). Dkt. No. 1 ("Compl."). Plaintiff, who is currently incarcerated at Mid-State Correctional Facility ("Mid-State C.F."), has not paid the filing fee required for this action and seeks to proceed in forma pauperis. Dkt. No. 2 ("IFP Application").

         For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's IFP Application is denied and this action is sua sponte dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g) ("Section 1915(g)"), unless, within thirty (30) days of the date of this Decision and Order, Plaintiff pays the statutory filing fee of four hundred dollars ($400) in full.

         II. DISCUSSION

         Where a plaintiff seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court must determine whether the plaintiff has demonstrated sufficient economic need to proceed without prepaying, in full, the Court's filing fee of four hundred dollars ($400).[1] The Court must also determine whether the "three strikes" provision of Section 1915(g) bars the plaintiff from proceeding in forma pauperis and without prepayment of the filing fee.[2] More specifically, Section 1915(g) provides as follows:

In no event shall a prisoner bring a civil action or appeal a judgment in a civil action or proceeding under this section 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). If the plaintiff is indigent and not barred by Section 1915(g), the Court must also consider whether the causes of action stated in the complaint are, inter alia, frivolous or malicious, or if they fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         In this case, Plaintiff has demonstrated economic need and has filed the inmate authorization form required in the Northern District of New York. See Dkt. Nos. 2, 3. Therefore, the Court must now determine whether the "three strikes" provision bars Plaintiff from proceeding in forma pauperis.

         A. Determination of Strikes

         Having reviewed Plaintiff's litigation history on the Federal Judiciary's Public Access to Court Electronic Records ("PACER") Service, the Court has determined that Plaintiff is a frequent litigator in the federal courts and is well aware of the "three strikes" rule.[3] The three strikes rule set forth in Section 1915(g) has been enforced against Plaintiff in the Southern District of New York beginning in July 2012 and in this District beginning in 2014. See Randolph v. Clinton Cnty. Facility, No. 1:12-CV-1851, Order to Show Cause (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 23, 2012), Bar Order (S.D.N.Y. July 11, 2012)[4]; Randolph v. Clinton Corr. Facility, No. 9:14-CV-0121 (DNH/RFT), Decision & Order (N.D.N.Y. filed Aug. 13, 2014); Randolph v. N.Y. State Corr., et al., No. 9:15-CV-1413 (LEK/TWD), Decision and Order (N.D.N.Y. filed Dec. 29, 2015); Randolph v. New York State Corrs., No. 9:18-CV-0934 (TJM/CFH), Decision and Order (N.D.N.Y. filed Oct. 1, 2018); and Randolph v. New York State Dep't of Corr., No. 9:19- CV-180 (DNH/CFH), Decision and Order (N.D.N.Y. filed March 13, 2019).

         The Second Circuit has held that a district court may rely on the relevant docket sheets to determine whether the three strikes limitation on in forma pauperis proceedings applies if they indicate with sufficient clarity that the prior suits were dismissed on the grounds that they were frivolous, malicious, or failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See Harris v. City of New York, 607 F.3d 18, 23-24 (2d Cir. 2010); see also Chavis v. Chappius, 618 F.3d 162, 167 (2d Cir. 2010) (A plaintiff incurs a second strike when, after filing a complaint that is dismissed on one of the grounds listed in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), he appeals that dismissal, only to have the appeal also dismissed on one of the listed grounds.).

         After reviewing these decisions, as well as the docket sheets for the actions found to constitute strikes, this Court likewise finds that Plaintiff ...


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