United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division
CURTIS C. EVANS PLAINTIFF
PELICIA HALL, ET AL. DEFENDANTS
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS ,  TO
FIND THAT HE IS IMMINENT DANGER, PERMITTING CASE TO GO
FORWARD, WITH A SANCTIONS WARNING
B. BIGGERS SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the court on the motions ,  by the
plaintiff for the court to permit him to proceed as a pauper
in this case, despite the fact that he has accumulated three
“strikes” under the Prison Litigation Reform Act.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). Four of Mr. Evans'
prior pro se prisoner cases have been dismissed
either as frivolous, malicious, or for failure to state a
claim upon which relief could be granted, and those
dismissals count as “strikes” under the PLRA.
See Evans v. Fisher, 15-60849 (5th Cir.,
Opinion of February 13, 2017) (noting that Evans has
accumulated four “strikes.”) As a result, Mr.
Evans may no longer proceed as a pauper in cases he files as
a prisoner unless he alleges that he is “under imminent
danger of serious physical injury.” Id., 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e). Mr. Evans has presented the instant
case to the court and has moved ,  for the court to
find that his allegations meet the “imminent
danger” exception to the “three strikes”
Evans' allegations are general in nature. He alleges that
his many lawsuits against Mississippi Department of
Corrections officials have caused the officials to threaten
him with harm if he refuses to dismiss pending suits and stop
filing new ones. He states:
[I] was nearly beaten to death by M.D.O.C. officials on
Friday, July 21st, 2017, made to plead for my
life, and to say that I would drop all of my lawsuits against
Being denied protection, I was forced by a knife wielding
cell mate, to drop all my lawsuits against M.D.O.C., or else
be killed in November of 2017.
Being denied protection by M.D.O.C., I was thrown back on the
zone to die, on April 2, 2018, after informing Captain
McDavid that my life is in jeopardy, and nearly beaten to
death by several inmates.
Doc. 1. Mr. Evans reiterates these allegations in his other
submissions to the court. In his second motion  regarding
imminent danger, Mr. Evans states, “My medical records
prove all of my claims, along with the camera system.”
court has reason to doubt Mr. Evans' allegations
regarding imminent danger. First, he alleges that on two
different occasions, he was “nearly beaten to
death.” He has not, however, provided any details
regarding the identity of his attackers or the exact nature
and severity of his injuries. Nor has he provided copies of
medical records which might support these allegations. In
addition, he claims that various MDOC staff members and
inmates compelled him to dismiss his pending cases. However,
he made his decision to dismiss those cases a few months
after the Fifth Circuit gave him this warning:
We WARN Evans that any more frivolous, repetitive, or
otherwise abusive filings will result in sanctions, such as
dismissal, monetary fines, and restrictions on his ability to
file pleadings in this court and any court subject to our
jurisdiction. We also WARN Evans to review any pending
suits or appeals he has already filed and move to dismiss
those that are frivolous.
See Evans v. Fisher, 15-60849 (5th Cir.,
Opinion of February 13, 2017) (emphasis added.) Thus, it is
plausible that Mr. Evans, who has a history of abusive
filings, dismissed his pending suits, not because of threats
and intimidation by staff and inmates, but because the Fifth
Circuit cautioned him regarding the consequences of
proceeding with frivolous or abusive suits.
the exception to the prepayment requirement of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915, a prisoner who has accrued three
“strikes” must make specific, credible
allegations of imminent danger. Hafed v. Federal Bureau
of Prisons, 635 F.3d 1172 (10th Cir. 2011).
If a defendant contests a plaintiff's claims of imminent
danger, the court must determine the allegations'
credibility, either by relying on affidavits or depositions
or by holding a hearing. Taylor v. Watkins, 623 F.3d
483, 484 (7th Cir. 2010). A nexus must exist
between the imminent danger a three-strikes prisoner alleges
to obtain pauper status and the legal claims asserted in the
complaint. Pettus v. Morgenthau, 554 F.3d 293
(2d Cir. 2009). The statute requires that the
inmate's complaint seeks to redress an imminent danger of
serious physical injury - and that this danger must be fairly
traceable to a constitutional violation alleged in the
complaint. Id. At the present stage, the court must
evaluate whether Mr. Evans may proceed based on his
allegations. Though it is arguable that Mr. Evans'
allegations are insufficient to proceed, the court will err
on the side of caution and finds that the allegations meet
court, nonetheless, harbors doubts about the veracity of Mr.
Evans' allegations. For this reason, the court WARNS Mr.
Evans, however, that should evidence come to light in this
case showing that his claims of imminent danger are false,
then the court will determine what sanction is necessary to
deter such behavior in the future. Such evidence might
consist of medical records at odds with his allegations of
severe beatings - or records showing that his encounters with
prison staff arose out of his misbehavior, such as setting
fires in his cell or refusing to comply with the orders of
staff - rather than from animus towards him arising out of
his previous suits.
after considering this warning, Mr. Evans decides that his
claim of imminent danger might be unsupported in the record,
then he may, before the matter proceeds further, voluntarily
dismiss this case, as he did in a previous case in this
court, Evans v. Fisher, 4:16CV84-DMB-DAS (order of
November 1, 2017). If Mr. Evans voluntarily dismisses this
case, then the court will not consider sanctions. If,
however, Mr. Evans proceeds with this case - and the court
later finds his allegations of imminent danger to be
unsupported - then the court will immediately order briefing
on the issue of sanctions.
the instant motions ,  to proceed with this case under
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the exception to the “three