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Ball v. Famiglio

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

December 17, 2014

DAWN BALL, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. FAMIGLIO, et al., Defendants

Submitted this 17th day of December, 2014.

Dawn Ball, Plaintiff, Pro se, Muncy, PA USA.

For Dr. Famiglio, Dr. Gothural, Dawn Werner, Dr. Stone, Defendants: Jaime B. Boyd, Chief Counsel's Office, Pennsylvania Department Of Corrections, Mechanicsburg, PA USA; Kathryn M. Kenyon, Meyer Unkovic & Scott LLP, Pittsburgh, PA.

For Lt. Hummel, Lt. Neece, Lt. Barto, Gloria Diggan, Ms. D'Addio, Psychologist, Judy Rowe, Defendants: Debra S. Rand, Jaime B. Boyd, Chief Counsel's Office, Pennsylvania Department Of Corrections, Mechanicsburg, PA USA; Kathryn M. Kenyon, Meyer Unkovic & Scott LLP, Pittsburgh, PA.

For Jane Doe, Defendant: Kathryn M. Kenyon, Meyer Unkovic & Scott LLP, Pittsburgh, PA USA.

Martin C. Carlson, United States Magistrate Judge. Judge Kane.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

Martin C. Carlson, United States Magistrate Judge.

I. Statement of Facts and of the Case

A. Dawn Marie Ball's Litigation History

This case, which comes before us on a motion to revoke Ball's in forma pauperis status, typifies that sad circumstances of Dawn Ball's life, a life which is now entirely marked by unreasoned anger and a cynical desire to use litigation as a vexatious vehicle to lash out at others. Indeed, this case reminds us that in many ways Dawn Ball's current circumstances inspire both profound sorrow and concern.

Dawn Ball is an inmate housed in the Restricted Housing Unit at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) Muncy, who by her own account suffers from a cascading array of severe mental illnesses, and who has candidly acknowledged that she is profoundly disturbed. Ball v. Beard, No. 1: 09-CV-845 (Doc. 42, pp.6-7). Furthermore, Ball is also an inmate who has reported to the Court that she engages in multiple episodes of destructive, self-defeating and senseless behavior.

Much of this institutional misconduct is marked by disturbing, excretory behavior. Indeed, a constant refrain throughout many of Ball's lawsuits is her fascination with her own bodily wastes. For example, recurring themes in Ball's lawsuits include Ball's penchant for smearing feces on herself, her clothes, her property, and her cell, as well as her destruction of her own clothing, and her use of her clothing to plug her toilet and flood her cell with water and human waste. Ball is also, by her own admission, an inmate with a propensity for sudden, explosive rages, as illustrated by the civil complaint which she has filed Ball v. Barr, No.1: 11-CV-2240 (M.D.Pa.). In this complaint, Ball describes an episode in which a discussion regarding the aesthetic qualities of a piece of cornbread escalated in a matter of moments into a profanity-laced wrestling match over a food tray.

Ball's bizarre and self-destructive behavior is also marked by repeated acts of destruction of her own clothing. As we have previously noted:

One recurring theme in this array of lawsuits has been a disputatious cycle of conflict between Ball and her jailers. As part of this cycle of behavior Ball has been cited for misconduct, oftentimes involving destruction or misuse of her prison garb, which has on occasion been found to have plugged the toilet in her cell, resulting in cell flooding. Prison officials have then placed Ball on clothing restrictions, and cited her for misconduct. As result of these clothing restrictions, Ball has lost her entitlement to a prison jumpsuit. Nonetheless when hearings have been scheduled on Ball's misconduct citations which often relate to the destruction or misuse of jumpsuits, she has demanded a jumpsuit before attending any hearing, or has insisted that the hearing be conducted at her cell. Prison officials have then treated Ball's demands as tantamount to a refusal to appear, and have conducted the disciplinary hearing in her absence. Ball, in turn, has sued prison staff, asserting that they have denied her due process. This theme is a recurring refrain in Ball's litigation and is reflecting several lawsuits filed by Ball. . . . .

"> Ball v. Cooper, No. 1: 11 CV 1833, 2012 WL 2389763, at *3 (M.D. Pa. June 1, 2012) report and recommendation adopted, No. 1:11 CV 1833, 2012 WL 2389760 (M.D. Pa. June 25, 2012). See, e.g., Ball v. Oden, No. 1: 09 CV 847, 2012 WL 7162069, at *1 (M.D. Pa. Dec. 6, 2012) report and recommendation adopted, No. 1:09 CV 00847, 2013 WL 634024 (M.D. Pa. Feb. 20, 2013 ) Ball v. Sipe, No. 1: 11 CV 1830, 2012 WL 2389759, at *3 (M.D. Pa. May 31, 2012) report and recommendation adopted, No. 1:11 CV 1830, 2012 WL 2389901 (M.D. Pa. June 25, 2012): Ball v. Hill, 1: 09-CV-773, 2012 WL 4069748 (M.D.Pa. Aug.9, 2012) report and recommendation adopted, 1:09-CV-00773, 2012 WL 4069737 (M.D.Pa. Sept.17, 2012); Ball v. Famiglio, 1: 11-CV-1834, 2012 WL 1886676 (M.D.Pa. Mar.14, 2012) report and recommendation adopted, 1:11-CV-1834, 2012 WL 1886673 (M.D.Pa. May 23, 2012); Ball v. Sisley, 1: 11-CV-877, 2011 WL 7940267 (M.D.Pa. Dec.20, 2011) report and recommendation adopted, 1:11-CV-877, 2012 WL 1867276 (M.D.Pa. May 22, 2012).

Prior to revocation of her in forma pauperis privileges due to Ball's repeated abuse of those privileges, Ball was a prodigious federal court litigant, bringing numerous lawsuits based upon her perception of the events that take place around her in prison. Indeed, at various times Ball has had more than 25 lawsuits pending before this Court.[1] Sadly, though, Ball is also a prodigiously unsuccessful litigant, who has had numerous prior lawsuits dismissed either as frivolous, for failure to exhaust administrative remedies or on the grounds that the lawsuit failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The history of repeated, frivolous and meritless litigation in federal court by this plaintiff has now led to court of appeals in 2013 to conclude that Ball was barred as a frivolous filer under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)'s " three strikes" rule from proceeding in forma pauperis in federal court in the future. Ball v. Famiglio, 726 F.3d 448, 451 (3d Cir. 2013) cert. denied, 134 S.Ct. 1547, ...


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