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Gipson v. Labonte

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

April 30, 2019

DARRELL B. GIPSON, Plaintiff,
v.
R. LABONTE, et al., Defendants.

          RULING ON PENDING MOTIONS

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On October 19, 2018, Darrell B. Gipson (“Plaintiff”) moved to amend the Complaint in this action, for appointment of pro bono counsel to represent him, and to change his address.

         For the reasons explained below, the Court DENIES the motion to change his address as moot, VACATES the previous order granting Mr. Gipson leave to proceed in forma pauperis, DENIES Mr. Gipson's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, and DENIES Mr. Gipson's motion to amend and motion for appointment of counsel.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On October 11, 2018, Mr. Gipson, incarcerated at the Hartford Correctional Center (“Hartford Correctional”), sued Health Services Administrator LaBonte and three medical staff members who work at Hartford Correctional, John Does 1-2 and Jane Doe, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Complaint, dated Oct. 11, 2018, ECF No. 1.

         That same day, Mr. Gipson moved for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis, dated Oct. 11, 2018, ECF No. 2.

         On October 16, 2018, the Court referred Mr. Gipson's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis to Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel. Order, dated Oct. 16, 2018, ECF No. 6.

         On October 19, 2018, Mr. Gipson moved to amend the Complaint in this action, for appointment of pro bono counsel, and to change his address. Motion to Amend the Complaint, dated Oct. 19, 2018 (“Mot. to Amend”), ECF No. 8; Motion for Appointment of Counsel, dated Oct. 19, 2018, ECF No. 9, Motion for Change of Address, dated Oct. 19, 2018, ECF No. 10. In his motion to change his address, Mr. Gipson stated that he was set to be released from Hartford Correctional on November 4, 2018 and provided the Court with his new address. See Motion for Change of Address at 1.

         On November 14, 2018, Magistrate Judge Garfinkel granted Mr. Gipson's application to proceed in forma pauperis. Order, dated Nov. 14, 2018, ECF No. 12.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915, indigent plaintiffs may move for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, i.e., “without prepayment of [filing] fees or security therefor.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). But the statute also limits the Court's authority to waive payment of fees for prisoners through the “three strikes” provision, which provides that “[i]n 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.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).

         Accordingly, a prisoner who has had three or more actions dismissed on grounds that it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim may not bring a civil action without prepayment of fees absent allegations of “imminent danger of serious physical injury.” See Pettus v. Morgenthau, 554 F.3d 293, 297 (2d Cir. 2009) (“indigent three-strikes prisoner [may] proceed IFP in order to obtain a judicial remedy for an imminent danger”). To satisfy this standard, the prisoner must show: (1) that he is subject to imminent danger of serious physical injury which is fairly traceable to unlawful conduct alleged in the complaint; and (2) that a favorable judicial outcome would redress the injury. See Id. at 296-97.

         III. DISCUSSION

         As an initial matter, because the Clerk of the Court has already changed Mr. Gipson's address to reflect his new, post-release address, Mr. ...


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