United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
AUSTIN MCHUGH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Tyree Lawson has moved for in forma pauperis status.
Lawson's motion is denied. According to § 1915(g), a
prisoner who on three or more prior occasions while
incarcerated has filed an action or appeal in federal court
that was dismissed as frivolous, malicious, or for failure to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, must be
denied in forma pauperis status unless he was in
imminent danger of serious physical injury at the time that
the complaint was filed. Abdul-Akbar v. McKelvie,
239 F.3d 307, 310-11 (3d Cir. 2001) (en banc). “[A]
strike under § 1915(g) will accrue only if the entire
action or appeal is (1) dismissed explicitly because it is
‘frivolous,' ‘malicious,' or ‘fails
to state a claim' or (2) dismissed pursuant to a
statutory provision or rule that is limited solely to
dismissals for such reasons, including (but not necessarily
limited to) 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A(b)(1),
1915(e)(2)(B)(i), 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), or Rule 12(b)(6) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.” Byrd v.
Shannon, 715 F.3d 117, 126 (3d Cir. 2013).
Lawson had accumulated at least three “strikes”
for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g) at the time he filed
this action, he may not proceed in forma pauperis
unless he was in imminent danger of serious physical injury
at the time he filed his Complaint. See Lawson v.
Barger, W.D. Pa. Civ. A. No. 17-97 (December 12, 2018
Order dismissing case with prejudice for failure to state a
claim); Lawson v. Hollis, W.D. Pa. Civ. A. No. 17-96
(March 14, 2018 Order adopting as opinion of the Court a
recommendation to dismiss the amended complaint for failure
to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6)); Lawson v. Crowther, W.D. Pa. Civ. A. No.
17-39 (December 12, 2018 Order dismissing second amended
complaint with prejudice for failure to state a claim);
Lawson v. Hoisington, E.D. Pa. Civ. A. No. 11-171
(July 22, 2014 Order dismissing complaint with prejudice as
“legally frivolous and for failure to state a
claim”); see also Lawson v. Crowther, 3d Cir.
No. 19-1161 (August 14, 2019 Order treating Lawson as a three
striker). “‘Imminent' dangers are those
dangers which are about to occur at any moment or are
impending.” Abdul-Akbar, 239 F.3d at 315.
Vague, general, or conclusory allegations are insufficient to
establish that a plaintiff is in imminent danger. See
Ball v. Famiglio, 726 F.3d 448, 468 (3d Cir. 2013),
abrogated in part on other grounds by, Coleman
v. Tollefson, 135 S.Ct. 1759 (2015).
alleges his cell was searched, he was strip searched, his
legal property was destroyed, his mail was tampered with, and
he was allegedly charged with a false misconduct in
retaliation for filing lawsuits and/or grievances and placed
in restricted housing. None of those allegations suggest that
Lawson was ever in imminent danger of serious physical
injury. Lawson also alleges that prison officials did not
accommodate his religious diet for the month of Ramadan, and
that he began accumulating food from the commissary to eat
during Ramadan after allegedly having “discover[ed]
[feces] like articles in chowhall food.” (Compl. ECF
No. 2 at 10.) However, prison officials in the restricted
housing unit purportedly denied Lawson access to his
commissary food, instead “forcing [him] to resort back
to chowhall food; against [his] continued pleas to rather
starve to death.” (Id.) Lawson suggests that
he is in imminent danger because he missed twenty-one meals.
(Id. at 11.)
allegations about food do not provide sufficient, detailed
information regarding alleged dangers to his life or health
to establish that he was under imminent danger when he filed
his Complaint. See Daker v. Bryson, No. 17-11418,
2019 WL 3731424, at *2 (11th Cir. Aug. 8, 2019) (inmate was
not in imminent danger based on allegations that he was
“denied nutritionally adequate food causing him
significant weight-loss”); Brown v. Lyons, 977
F.Supp.2d 475, 484 (E.D. Pa. 2013) (vague allegations that
punitive diet was causing malnutrition did not satisfy
imminent danger standard); Mateo v. Vosbrink, Civ.
A. No. 06-115, 2006 WL 2038499, at *2 (N.D. Fla. July 18,
2006) (denial of kosher meals that caused inmate to forego
meals, resulting in hunger pangs was not imminent danger). In
that regard, with respect to observing Ramadan, Lawson has
not clearly explained why eating food from the dining hall
would interfere with his observance.
has not alleged any physical effects from missing meals, and
it is also not clear whether the conduct he alleges was
limited to the month of Ramadan. More importantly, “a
prisoner may not claim that he is in imminent danger of
serious physical injury when the alleged danger is a result
of his own doing.” See Brown v. President & CEO
of Prison Health Servs., Inc., No. CIV.A. 11-7935, 2012
WL 926146, at *3 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 16, 2012); see also
Abdullah v. Migoya, 955 F.Supp.2d 1300, 1310 (S.D. Fla.
2013) (“if Plaintiff's weight loss is a health
issue, as he alleges in his Complaint, it is because of his