United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
DANTE G. FREDRICK, Plaintiff,
F. BARRY WILKES, J. WILLIAMS, Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Fredrick has filed this civil rights case against defendants
Wilkes and Williams, clerks for the Superior Court of Liberty
County. Doc. 1 (alleging defendants refused to docket a civil
action that he submitted for filing in that court). Fredrick
was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP)
based upon his representation that, while he had filed civil
lawsuits "in the federal courts, " "none of
the cases [had been] dismissed [be]cause of frivolousness,
maliciousness, or failure to state a claim." Docs. 1 at
2 (attesting he had repeatedly voluntarily dismissed cases,
so as not to result in a "strike") & 14 at 2
(attesting he has "no strikes" because "none
of [his] filings was dismissed for frivolousness,
maliciousness, or failure to state [a] claim").
Fredrick, however, lied to this Court.
(More Than) Three Strikes
A review of Plaintiffs history of filings reveals that he has
brought numerous civil actions or appeals which were
dismissed and appear to count as strikes under Section
1915(g). A non-exhaustive list of these cases includes the
• Fredrick v. Danforth, et al, No. CV314-162
(S.D. Ga. April 27, 2015) (dismissed for failure to
truthfully disclose litigation history);
• Fredrick v. Scarlett, et al., No. CV215-135
(S.D. Ga. Dec. 9, 2015) (dismissed for failure to state a
• Fredrick v. Williams, No. CV616-073 (S.D. Ga.
Aug. 24, 2015) (dismissed for failure to state a claim).
plaintiffs may seek leave to proceed in "any suit,
action or proceeding, civil or criminal, or appeal therein,
without prepayment of fees or security therefor"
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). However, § 1915(g)
of the Prison Litigation Reform Act also provides that
In 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
28 U.S.C. § 1915(g) (2006) (emphasis
section, known as the "three strikes" provision,
wards against abusive prisoner litigants having unlimited IFP
access to the courts to pursue frivolous, malicious or
meritless claims. "Three strikes" inmates are not
banned from the courthouse entirely, but must pay the full
filing fee before they may proceed. And Fredrick already
knows that he has three strikes. See, e.g., Fredrick v.
McLaughlin, No. 317-056 (M.D. Ga. Mar. 28, 2017)
(denying IFP and dismissing under "three strikes"
provision of § 1915(g)). Despite this, he attested that
he his cases have never counted as a "strike" under
the PLRA. Docs. 1 at 2 & 14 at 2.
Dismissal Pursuant to Rule 11
that Fredrick intentionally misled the Court, sanctions are
warranted. Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 11(b) "forbids lying in
pleadings, motions, and other papers filed with the
court." Zocaras v. Castro, 465 F.3d 479, 484
(11th Cir. 2006). "Rule 11(c) provides for sanctions
concerning misrepresentations made in papers filed with the
court under Rule 11(b)." Id. at 490; see
also 5A Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Fed.
Prac. & Proc. § 1335 (3d ed. 2004) (noting that
courts have deemed sanctions appropriate to punish various
forms of party misconduct). And Rule 41(b) "expressly
authorizes the involuntary dismissal of a claim for
plaintiffs failure to abide" by the Rules.
Zocaras, 465 F.3d at 490; State Exch. Bank v.
Hartline, 693 F.2d 1350, 1352 (11th Cir. 1982).
"the power of a court to dismiss a claim is inherent in
a trial court's authority to enforce its orders and
ensure prompt disposition of legal actions."
Zocaras, 465 F.3d at 490; Link v. Wabash R.R.
Co., 370 U.S. 626, 630-31 (1962); Hartline, 693
F.2d at 1352. The Eleventh Circuit approves of dismissals
under the inherent power where a litigant, in bad faith,
fails to disclose his prior cases on a form complaint.
Young v. Sec'y Fla. for the Dep't of Corrs.,
380 F.App'x 939, 940-41 (11th Cir. June 1, 2010)
(affirming dismissal under inherent power for plaintiffs
failure to disclose his prior cases on the court's
complaint form); see Rivera, 144 F.3d 719, 731 (11th
Cir.1998) (district court did not abuse its discretion by
dismissing an action without prejudice where plaintiff
"had lied under penalty of perjury about the existence
of a prior lawsuit").
prisoner's pro se pleading is entitled to liberal
construction, that doctrine presupposes that the prisoner was
honest and forthright with the Court. Providing false
responses to the Court's inquiries is sanctionable
conduct and undermines the administration of justice. See
Morefield v. DuPree, 2008 WL 5100926 at * 3 (S.D. Ga.
Dec. 3, 2008) (dismissing action without prejudice where
plaintiff abused the judicial process by providing dishonest
information about his prior filing history); Gillilan v.
Walker, 2007 WL 842020 at *1 (S.D. Ga. Mar. 15, 2007)
(same). It is clear that Fredrick, in bad faith, attempted to
mislead the Court as to his filing history to circumvent the
§ 1915(g) "three strikes" bar. His Complaint
should be dismissed without prejudice as a sanction for his
dishonesty, and the Court warns Fredrick that such false
responses will not be tolerated and may result in more severe
and long-term sanctions in the future. Such a ...