United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
CHRISTOPHER J. DIRIG, Plaintiff,
RON NEAL, GORDON, and McNEAL, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
L. MILLER, JR. JUDGE
J. Dirig, a prisoner without a lawyer, began this lawsuit by
filing a document titled, “Emergency Injunction
Imminent Danger.” He didn't pay the filing fee or
seek leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Mr. Dirig is barred
from proceeding in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(g). Dirig v. Stewart, 17-1414
(7th Cir. filed February 24, 2017) order dated
June 8, 2017, ECF 13. This is commonly known as the
“Three Strikes Rule” and an inmate who has struck
out, “can use the partial prepayment option in
§1915(b) only if in the future he ‘is under
imminent danger of serious physical injury.'”
Abdul-Wadood v. Nathan, 91 F.3d 1023, 1025 (7th Cir.
1996). To meet the imminent danger standard, the threat
complained of must be real and proximate. Ciarpaglini v.
Saini, 352 F.3d 328, 330 (7th Cir. 2003). Only
“genuine emergencies” qualify as a basis for
circumventing § 1915(g). Lewis v. Sullivan, 279
F.3d 526, 531 (7th Cir. 2002).
Dirig is trying to sue two defendants for punitive and
compensatory damages based on events that occurred on January
24 and 25, 2019. He alleges inmates set fires because there
wasn't enough heat in the prison. He alleges the fires
created choking smoke which wasn't promptly cleared and
he was denied immediate medical attention. Despite the title
of his document, he doesn't ask for injunctive relief;
nor has he plausibly alleged he is now in imminent danger of
serious physical injury.
Dirig filed this lawsuit knowing very well he was struck out
because he has been notified eighteen times in little more
than two years. The court of appeals requires litigants
who are restrained by § 1915(g) to be restricted when
they attempt to “bamboozle” the court.
to whom § 1915(g) applies take heed! An effort to
bamboozle the court by seeking permission to proceed in forma
pauperis after a federal judge has held that § 1915(g)
applies to a particular litigant will lead to immediate
termination of the suit. Moreover, the fee remains due, and
we held in Newlin v. Helman, 123 F.3d 429, 436-37
(7th Cir. 1997), that unpaid docket fees incurred by
litigants subject to § 1915(g) lead straight to an order
forbidding further litigation. Sloan's appeal is
dismissed for failure to pay the appellate filing and docket
fees. Until Sloan has paid in full all outstanding fees and
sanctions in all civil actions he has filed, the clerks of
all courts in this circuit will return unfiled all papers he
tenders. This order does not apply to criminal cases or
petitions challenging the terms of his confinement, and may
be reexamined in two years under the approach of
Newlin and Support Systems International, Inc.
v. Mack, 45 F.3d 185 (7th Cir. 1995).
Sloan v. Lesza, 181 F.3d 857, 859 (7th Cir. 1999).
Dirig didn't file an in forma pauperis motion in this
case, but he is still effectively trying to
“bamboozle” the court. This is the second time
Mr. Dirig has filed a lawsuit falsely asserting he is in
imminent danger. See Dirig v. State of Indiana,
3:18-CV-356 (N.D. Ind. filed May 14, 2018) ECF 50. It's
also the third case he has filed since being told he was
subject to § 1915(g) which was dismissed because he was
not in imminent danger. See id. and Dirig v.
Knight, 1:17-CV-2195 (S.D. Ind. filed June 26, 2017) ECF
3 (filed without any allegation of imminent danger).
this case will be dismissed, the filing fee assessed, and Mr.
Dirig restricted until he has paid in full all outstanding
filing fees and sanctions imposed by any federal court. The
restriction imposed by this order does not restrict him from
filing a notice of appeal nor “impede him from making
any filings necessary to protect him from imprisonment or
other confinement, but . . . [it does] not let him file any
paper in any other suit . . . until he pays the money he
owes.” Support Sys. Int'l v. Mack, 45 F.3d
185, 186 (7th Cir. 1995). This restriction doesn't apply
to papers submitted in Dirig v. Neal, 3:18-CV-851
(N.D. Ind. filed October 17, 2018) in which he has been
granted leave to proceed on a claim based on being in
these reasons, the court:
(1) DISMISSES this case WITHOUT PREJUDICE;
(2) ORDERS the plaintiff, Christopher J. Dirig, IDOC #
157156, to pay (and the facility having custody of him to
automatically remit) to the clerk 20 percent of the money he
receives for each calendar month during which he receives
$10.00 or more, until the $400.00 filing fee is paid in full;
(3) DIRECTS the clerk to create a ledger for receipt of these
(4) DIRECTS the clerk to return, unfiled, any papers filed in
any case by or on behalf of Christopher J. Dirig - except for
a notice of appeal or unless filed in a criminal case, habeas
corpus proceeding, or Dirig v. Neal, 3:18-CV-851
(N.D. Ind. filed October 17, 2018) - until he has paid in
full all outstanding fees and sanctions in all civil actions
in any federal court;
(5) DIRECTS the clerk to note on the docket of this case any
attempted filings in ...