United States District Court, D. New Jersey
SALAHUDDIN F. SMART, Plaintiff,
GLOBAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS, INC., et al., Defendants. SALAHUDDIN F. SMART, Plaintiff,
RESORTS CASINO & HOTEL, et al., Defendants. SALAHUDDIN F. SMART, Plaintiff,
TROPICANA CASINO AND HOTEL, et al., Defendants.
B. KUGLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Salahuddin F. Smart is presently confined at the Camden
County Department of Corrections Facility, in Camden, New
Jersey. He seeks to bring the following civil actions, case
numbers 18-17684, 18-14849, and 18-14844 in forma
pauperis,  without prepayment of fees or security,
asserting claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The
Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Act”),
which amends 28 U.S.C. § 1915, establishes certain
financial requirements for prisoners who are attempting to
bring a civil action in forma pauperis.
the Act, a prisoner bringing a civil action in forma
pauperis must submit an affidavit, including a statement
of all assets, which states that the prisoner is unable to
pay the fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). The prisoner also
must submit a certified copy of his inmate trust fund account
statement for the six-month period immediately preceding the
filing of his complaint. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2). The
prisoner must obtain this statement from the appropriate
official of each prison at which he was or is confined.
entire fee to be paid in advance of filing a civil complaint
is $400. That fee includes a filing fee of $350 plus an
administrative fee of $50, for a total of $400. A prisoner
who is granted in forma pauperis status will,
instead, be assessed a filing fee of $350 and will not be
responsible for the $50 administrative fee. If in forma
pauperis status is denied, the prisoner must pay the
full $400, including the $350 filing fee and the $50
administrative fee, before the complaint will be filed.
prisoner is granted in forma pauperis status, the
prisoner must pay the full amount of the $350 filing fee as
follows. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). In each month that the
amount in the prisoner's account exceeds $10.00, until
the $350.00 filing fee is paid, the agency having custody of
the prisoner shall assess, deduct from the prisoner's
account, and forward to the Clerk of the Court, payment equal
to 20% of the preceding month's income credited to the
prisoner's account. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
may not have known when he submitted his complaints that he
must pay the filing fee, and that even if the full filing
fee, or any part of it, has been paid, the Court must dismiss
the case if it finds that the action is: (1) frivolous or
malicious; (2) fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted; or (3) seeks monetary relief against a defendant
who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). If the Court dismisses the case for any of
these reasons, the Act does not permit the prisoner to get
his filing fee back.
of these actions, Plaintiff has submitted an application to
proceed in forma pauperis but has failed to submit a
certified copy of his inmate trust fund account statement for
the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of his
respective complaints. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2). In civil
actions 18-14849 and 18-14844, Plaintiff contends or implies
that jail officials refused to provide him with a certified
at this time, the Court would give Plaintiff an opportunity
to submit complete applications to proceed in forma
pauperis, or set forth in an affidavit the dates, times,
and circumstances, in which officials refused to provide him
with a certified trust account statement. Ross v. Mercer
Cty. Correction Ctr., No. 08-5763, 2009 WL 559798, at *1
(D.N.J. Mar. 3, 2009). For the reasons that follow, however,
the Court will not give Plaintiff the opportunity to submit
another application to proceed in forma pauperis in
any of these cases.
Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) prohibits a
prisoner from bringing a civil action in forma
pauperis “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).
Thus, under the statute, if a prisoner has three or more
dismissals under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), he cannot proceed
unless he is in imminent danger of serious physical injury at
the time he files the complaint. See Goodson v.
Kardashian, 413 Fed.Appx. 417, 419 n.2 (3d Cir. 2011)
(per curiam) (citing Abdul-Akbar v. McKelvie, 239
F.3d 307, 312 (3d Cir. 2001)).
discussed in one of this Court's Opinions in another of
Plaintiff's cases, Plaintiff has filed, and the Court has
dismissed,  at least three earlier actions in this
District as frivolous or for failing to state a claim
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Smart v.
Queen Anne's Cty., No. 18-17434, 2019 WL 140011, at
*2 (D.N.J. Jan. 8, 2019)(citing Smart v. Admin. Office of
the Courts, No. 14-4303, 2016 WL 632230, at *8 (D.N.J.
Feb. 17, 2016) (“Plaintiff's Amended Complaint is
dismissed with prejudice in its entirety for failure to state
a claim, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).”),
aff'd sub nom., 672 Fed.Appx. 182 (3d Cir.
2017); Smart v. McLivaine, No. 14-4375, 2014 WL
6386768, at *2 (D.N.J. Nov. 14, 2014)(“[T]he complaint
will be dismissed with prejudice for failure to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted.”); Smart v.
Aramark Inc., No. 14-3007, 2014 WL 2215972, at *3
(D.N.J. May 29, 2014) (“Plaintiff's complaint will
be dismissed with prejudice, and this dismissal will be a
“strike” under the “three-strikes”
rule.”), aff'd, 618 Fed.Appx. 728, 728 (3d
Plaintiff is a litigant with three strikes under §
1915(g). Thus, § 1915(g) precludes him from proceeding
in forma pauperis in these three cases currently
before the Court, unless he alleges facts to show that he is
in imminent danger of serious physical injury.
three complaints before the Court do not allege that
Plaintiff is in imminent danger of serious physical injury.
First, in Smart v. Global Telecommunications, Inc.,
Civil Action No. 18-17684, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants
interfered with his ability to represent himself by limiting
and monitoring his phone calls, and for illegally seizing
$10.00 from his account through hidden fees.
Smart v. Resorts Casino & Hotel, Civil Action
No. 18-14849, Plaintiff alleges that security or police
officers, at the behest of Defendant Resorts Casino,
illegally seized Plaintiff when they advised him that he was
evicted from the casino for intoxication. Plaintiff also
alleges that Resorts Casino coerced and retaliated against
him by continuing to ban him from the premises unless he
signed a waiver of suit. Finally, in Smart v. Tropicana
Casino and Hotel, Civil Action No. 18-14844, Plaintiff
alleges that Defendant Tropicana Casino and Hotel and its
security officers harassed, seized, and evicted Plaintiff,
after Plaintiff had a “personal conversation”
with a female security staff member.
because the complaints in these matters do not contain
allegations suggesting that Plaintiff is in imminent danger
of serious physical injury, he is not excused from the §
1915(g) restrictions. Thus, the Court will not permit
Plaintiff to proceed in ...