United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
N. Bloch, United States District Judge.
NOW, this 5th day of September, 2019, in consideration of
Defendants' Motion to Remove Plaintiffs In Forma Pauperis
Status (Doc. No. 52) and brief in support thereof (Doc. No.
53), filed in the above-captioned matter on December 21,
2018, and in further consideration of Plaintiff s response
thereto (Doc. No. 73), filed on July 2, 2019, and
Defendants' reply (Doc. No. 74), filed on July 15, 2019,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that said motion is GRANTED.
FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs in forma pauperis status,
conferred on June 25, 2018, is hereby REVOKED and that
Plaintiff must pay the entire filing fee of $400.00 by
SEPTEMBER 25, 2019. Failure
to do so will result in the case being dismissed with
prejudice for failure to prosecute without further warning.
Roscoe Chambers is serving a sentence of imprisonment of 360
months imposed by the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Iowa. See United States v.
Chambers, No. 3:12-cr-00071 (S.D. Iowa May 17, 2013),
aff'd per curiam, 554 Fed.Appx. 539 (8th Cir.
2014), cert-denied, 135 S.Ct. 1018 (2015). At the
time he filed the instant civil action with this court in the
above- captioned matter on May 11, 2018, he was serving
this sentence at USP Lewisburg, in Union County,
Pennsylvania. He has since been reassigned to AUSP Thomson in
Thomson, Illinois. He sought to proceed in forma pauperis
("IFP"), and his request was granted by Magistrate
Judge Joseph F. Saporito, Jr. on June 25, 2018. After the
filing of several motions by the parties, Defendants sought
to revoke Plaintiffs IFP status on December 21, 2018,
contending that he had three prior "strikes" under
the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)
("PLRA"), and that Plaintiff had failed to
establish that he was under imminent danger of serious
parties do not dispute the fact that Plaintiff had three
prior "strikes" under the PLRA -i.e.,
actions brought by him while incarcerated that were dismissed
on the grounds that they were frivolous, malicious, or failed
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Indeed,
the record reflects that courts, as of the time he filed his
complaint, had dismissed at least three matters Plaintiff had
previously filed as frivolous or for failure to state a
claim. See Chambers v. Conard et al., No.
4:13-cv-186 (S.D. Iowa May 16, 2013); Chambers v. Conard
et al., 547 Fed.Appx. 807 (2013); Chambers v.
Sarcone, No. 4:17-cv-0432, 2017 WL 8792712 (S.D. Iowa
Dec. 12, 2017). Subsequently, Plaintiff has had an additional
action dismissed as frivolous that he had filed in the
Northern District of Illinois. See Chambers v.
Schmidts, No. 18-C-50242 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 14, 2018).
There is no question, then, that the PLRA's three-strike
provision applies. The issue is whether the "imminent
danger" exception to the PLRA applies as well.
the PLRA, a prisoner litigant may proceed IFP, even if he or
she has amassed three or more strikes under the Act, if the
prisoner can make a showing that he or she is under imminent
danger of serious physical injury. Plaintiff contends that he
was under imminent danger of serious physical injury because
of threats and false reports being made regarding him by
personnel at USP Lewisburg. While Plaintiff now adds claims
regarding the poisoning of his food and later unrelated
threats, these alleged dangers significantly postdate the
filing of the complaint in this case and therefore do not
establish that danger was imminent at the time the complaint
was filed. See Abdul-Akbar v. McKelvie, 239 F.3d
307, 312 (3d Cir. 2001).
prisoner litigant claiming to be in imminent danger of
serious physical harm "must make specific and credible
allegations to that effect." Ball v. Famiglio,
726 F.3d 448, 470 (3d Cir. 2013), abrogated on other
grounds by Parker v. Montgomery Cty. Corr. Facility/Business
Office Mgr., 870 F.3d 144, 150 n.9 (3d Cir. 2017)
(internal quotations omitted). "Imminent dangers are
those dangers which are about to occur at any moment or are
impending." See Abdul-Akbar, 239 F.3d at 315.
The danger alleged here simply does not meet these standards.
In seeking IFP status, Plaintiff alleged that he previously
had received a few vague threats of a sexual nature, that he
had been subject to false reports, which he claims affected
his good time credit, and that he had been denied contact
with his family. (Doc. No. 8). The allegations regarding the
threats are not only vague, they do not establish any
impending danger but rather refer to discrete prior acts. The
false reports and family contact allegations do not allege or
involve any risk of serious physical harm. Plaintiff also
averred that he feared for his life and safety and that the
staff would kill him if they found out that he filed his
action (Doc. No. 2), but this claim is very broad and vague,
and Plaintiff does not try to substantiate his allegations in
any way. Such vague and conclusory claims are insufficient to
meet the imminent danger standard. See Ball, 726
F.3d at 468.
Plaintiff has not established that he is under imminent
danger of serious physical injury, and therefore, he is not
entitled to proceed IFP and must pay the applicable filing
fee to pursue this action. If Plaintiff does not pay this
fee, his case will be dismissed with prejudice for failure to
 The action was brought pursuant to
Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of
Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), and seeks monetary and
 The Court also notes that Plaintiff is
no longer designated to or confined at USP Lewisburg.
Accordingly, any ongoing claims of actions being taken
against him by personnel at that ...