United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
TERRANCE E. LACEY, SR., Plaintiff,
ALLEN CO. SUPERIOR COURT #4, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM C. LEE JUDGE
E. Lacey, Sr., is a prisoner who filed a complaint without a
lawyer and seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis. However,
Lacey is barred from proceeding in forma pauperis pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). This is commonly known as the
“Three Strikes Rule” and Lacey has five
strikes. 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). In order 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).
case, Lacey is attempting to sue Allen Co. Superior Court #4
because he believes his State criminal sentence is improper
and he should be released from prison. This is not the first
time he has brought this claim. In Lacey v. State of
Indiana, 3:18-CV-322 (N.D. Ind. filed May 3, 2018), he
was told “habeas corpus is the exclusive remedy for a
state prisoner who challenges the fact or duration of his
confinement.” Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477,
481 (1994). It is frivolous to file a civil complaint seeking
to overturn a State court conviction. It was malicious to do
so twice. However, this is the third time he has brought this
same claim. See Lacey v. Allen Co. Superior Court
#4, 1:19-CV-456 (N.D. Ind. filed October 28, 2019).
Moreover, these allegations do not plausibly allege imminent
danger of serious physical injury.
Lacey filed this complaint without paying the filing fee. He
seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis by filing a copy of
his inmate trust fund ledger, even though he knew he was
struck out. In Lacey v. Richards, 3:19-CV-126 (N.D.
Ind. filed March 13, 2019), he was told he had five strikes.
He was told he could not proceed in forma pauperis. He was
told he had to pre-pay the $400 filing fee because he had not
alleged he was in imminent danger of serious physical injury.
Seventh Circuit requires that litigants be restricted when
they attempt to “bamboozle” the court by seeking
to proceed in forma pauperis after they have been informed
that they are barred from doing so.
Litigants 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).
this case will be dismissed, the filing fee assessed, and
Lacey 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 does not prevent
him from filing a habeas corpus petition challenging the
validity of his State court conviction.
these reasons, the court:
DISMISSES this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A because it is both frivolous and malicious;
DENIES Terrance E. Lacey, Sr., leave to
proceed in forma pauperis (ECF 2);
ORDERS the plaintiff, Terrance
E. Lacey, Sr., IDOC # 111380, to pay (and the
facility having custody of him to automatically remit) to the
clerk of this court 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;
DIRECTS the clerk of court to create a
ledger for receipt of these funds;
DIRECTS the clerk of court to return,
unfiled, any papers filed in any case by or on behalf of
Terrance E. Lacey, Sr., (except for a notice of appeal or
unless filed in a criminal or habeas corpus proceeding) until
he has paid in full all ...