United States District Court, D. Connecticut
CHARLES C. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
CITY OF HARTFORD et al., Defendants.
ORDER REVOKING IN FORMA PAUPERIS STATUS PURSUANT TO
28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)
Jeffrey Alker Meyer United States District Judge
Charles C. Williams is a prisoner in the custody of the
Connecticut Department of Correction (“DOC”). He
has filed this lawsuit pro se and in forma
pauperis against the City of Hartford and thirteen
persons employed by either the City or the DOC. The complaint
alleges multiple causes of action, mostly arising from
defendants' alleged tampering with Williams' legal
Williams was previously granted in forma pauperis
status, I now conclude that he is not eligible for the
benefits of this status because of his prior litigation
history. Unless a prisoner is under imminent danger of
serious physical injury, federal law does not allow a
prisoner to proceed in forma pauperis if he has
accumulated three or more “strikes” by reason of
previously filing actions or appeals that were dismissed
because they were frivolous, malicious, or otherwise failed
to state a claim. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
Because I conclude that Williams has at least four strikes, I
will vacate the Court's prior order granting in forma
pauperis status. Williams must promptly pay the full
court filing fee if he wishes to proceed with this action.
to filing the action now before me, Williams filed a series
of three federal lawsuits while imprisoned. I will refer to
these actions respectively as the “Williams I,
” “Williams II, ” and
“Williams III” actions.
Williams I district court action
complaint in Williams v. Hartford Police Dep't,
No. 15-cv-933-AWT (D. Conn.) (“Williams
I”) was filed in June 2015. It alleged misconduct
by the City of Hartford and various employees of the Hartford
Police Department that led to Williams' conviction in
Connecticut state court for first degree unlawful restraint.
See Williams I, Doc. #1; see also State v.
Williams, 172 Conn.App. 820, cert. denied, 326
Conn. 913 (2017).
the course of three years, Judge Thompson dismissed certain
counts of the complaint in Williams I for failure to
state a claim. See Williams I, Doc. #8 (initial
review order dismissing claims made under 42 U.S.C. §
1985 and 42 U.S.C. § 1986); Doc. #75 (dismissing all
claims against Hartford Police Department on the ground that
police department is not entity subject to suit); Docs. #186,
#187 (dismissing false arrest and conspiracy to arrest
claims). Still other counts of the complaint were resolved in
favor of the defendants on summary judgment. See Williams
I, 2017 WL 11448086 (D. Conn. 2017) (Doc. #412, granting
summary judgment for defendant City of Hartford and defendant
Taylor); Williams I, 2017 WL 11448157 (D. Conn.
2017) (Doc. #413, granting summary judgment in the entirety
to defendants Hightower and Waller, and for defendant Gogins
litigation took a new turn, however, when the defendants
jointly moved to dismiss the action pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
11 on grounds that Williams had fabricated a document that he
used to try to defend against a motion for summary
judgment. After conducting a hearing, Judge Thompson
granted the motion and dismissed the action with prejudice by
order dated August 14, 2018. Williams I, 2018 WL
8731546 (D. Conn. 2018) (Doc. #456). Judge Thompson concluded
in relevant part that Williams had “falsified” an
exhibit, then “compounded the fraud on the court by
means of the sworn verifications he submitted along with the
exhibits evidence, ” and then “after his fraud
was challenged, he lied in court and continued to insist in
filings that the defendants or the Hartford Police Department
submitted the doctored exhibit as part of the defendants'
document production.” Id. at *3.
Williams I appeals
August 20, 2018, Williams appealed from Judge Thompson's
dismissal order. On the same day, he also filed a motion to
alter or amend the judgment. Williams I, Doc. #462.
On October 24, 2018, Judge Thompson denied this motion.
Williams I, Doc. #480. Williams followed
with a separate notice of appeal from this ruling on November
19, 2018. Williams I, Doc. #481.
Second Circuit consolidated both appeals and then issued an
order dismissing the appeals on February 28, 2019 that read,
in its entirety, as follows:
Appellant, pro se, moves for appointment of counsel and leave
to file an oversized brief. Upon due consideration, it is
hereby ORDERED that the motion is DENIED and the appeals are
DISMISSED because they “lack an arguable basis either
in law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490
U.S. 319, 325 (1989); see also 28 U.S.C. §
Williams v. Hartford Police Dep't, No.
18-2465-cv, Doc. #91 (2d Cir.); Williams v. Hartford
Police Dep't, 18-3523-cv, Doc. #29 (2d
Williams II district court action
December 2017, while Williams I was pending,
Williams filed Williams v. Hartford, No.
3:17-cv-2098-KAD (D. Conn.) (“Williams
II”). This suit sought $31 million in damages from
four defendants—the City of Hartford, Detective Gogins,
Corrections Officer Quiros, and whatever insurance companies
may be covering them—principally for tampering with
Williams' legal mail. See Williams II, Doc. #1.
Judge Dooley dismissed most of the Williams II
action in a series of orders. Two of the orders dismissed
various counts for failure to state a claim. See Williams
II, Doc. #17 (initial review order dismissing all but
four claims); Williams II, 2019 WL 79427 (D. Conn.
2019) (Doc. #63, dismissing remaining claims except for one
official-capacity claim for injunctive relief). Although
Judge Dooley allowed one of the claims to proceed, Judge
Dooley indicated that—if defendants transmitted certain
assurances to the Court—she would dismiss the remaining