MacIas-ochoa v. U.S. Department of Justice

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA _________________________________________ ) ABRAHAM MACIAS-OCHOA, ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) v. ) Civil Action No. 17-0908 (TSC) ) U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, et al., ) ) Defendants. ) _________________________________________ ) MEMORANDUM OPINION On October 4, 2016, Plaintiff filed his complaint in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. The case was transferred to this district on May 11, 2017. This matter has come before the court on Defendants’ Motion to Reconsider and Vacate the Grant of In Forma Pauperis Status to Plaintiff. For the reasons discussed below, Defendant’s motion is GRANTED. Generally, a plaintiff must pay a filing fee in full. See 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). The Court may grant a plaintiff in forma pauperis status by “authoriz[ing] the commencement . . . of [the] suit . . . without prepayment of fees” if plaintiff shows he is unable to pay them. Id. §1915(a)(1). Pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), in forma pauperis status does not relieve a prisoner plaintiff of his obligation to pay the filing fee in full. Asemani v. U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Servs., 797 F.3d 1069, 1072 (D.C. Cir. 2015). Rather than “pay the full filing fee at the time he brings suit . . . he can pay the filing fee in installments over time.” 1 Id. (citations omitted). However, certain prisoners cannot qualify for in forma pauperis status under the PLRA’s “three strikes” rule: 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. Id. (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)); see Fourstar v. Garden City Grp., Inc., No. 15-5049, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23950, at *1 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 28, 2017) (“[A] dismissal of a prisoner’s lawsuit for failure to state a claim, or as frivolous or malicious, is commonly referred to as a strike.”). Defendants argue that Plaintiff has accumulated three strikes, based on the dismissal of three civil actions filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. See Macias-Ochoa v. Mendez, No. 5:16-CV-00108 (N.D. Tex. June 24, 2016) (dismissing with prejudice as frivolous); Macias-Ochoa v. Medford, No. 5:13-CV-00213 (N.D. Tex. Aug. 4, 2014) (dismissing with prejudice for failure to state a claim); Macias v. Dixon, No. 5:13-CV- 00160 (N.D. Tex. May 14, 2014) (dismissing with prejudice as frivolous and for failure to state a claim). Plaintiff acknowledges the three cases in the Northern District of Texas. However, he attributes their disposition to “the district judge who in part took sides with the defendants and dismissed [the] complaints ...

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