The Tenth Circuit published its opinion in Childs v. Miller on Tuesday, April 23, 2013.
Terry Lee Childs, a federal prisoner in Oklahoma, filed this civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, asserting that defendants, who were all employees of the Lawton Correctional Facility , violated state and federal law by delaying the refilling of his asthma medication prescription in retaliation against him for exercising his federal constitutional right to file administrative grievances about his medical care. Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. The district court eventually dismissed all of Mr. Childs’ claims and Mr. Childs appealed.
Congress enacted the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) in 1996 in the wake of a sharp rise in prisoner litigation in the federal courts. The PLRA contains a variety of provisions designed to bring this litigation under control. One of these provisions is 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), which Congress added to revoke, with limited exception, in forma pauperis privileges for any prisoner who has filed three or more lawsuits that fail to state a claim, or are malicious or frivolous.
Mr. Childs had accumulated three strikes under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). Accordingly as soon as the appellate process in this case has been completed, he will be barred from proceeding in forma pauperis in future civil actions or appeals in federal court unless he is “under imminent danger of serious physical injury,” § 1915(g), and he makes “specific [and] credible allegations” to that effect. Kinnell v. Graves, 265 F.3d 1125, 1127-28 (10th Cir. 2001).