Pinson v. Department of Justice, No. 18-5331 (D.C. Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
In two related cases under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), Plaintiffs Gorbey and Pinson, both incarcerated three-strikers, seek to bring their appeals in forma pauperis (IFP) on the ground that they face imminent danger. Pinson argued, in the alternative, that the three-strikes rule is unconstitutional.
The DC Circuit rejected plaintiffs' requests and explained that, to proceed under the exception, three-strike prisoners must show an imminent danger at the time of their appeal and a nexus between that danger and their underlying claims. The court held that Gorbey has failed to demonstrate a nexus between the danger he faced and the claims he brought, and Pinson has failed to show that she faced imminent danger at the time she noticed her appeal. In regard to Pinson's alternative argument, the court held that even assuming that some prisoners can make out viable as-applied constitutional challenges to the three-strikes rule, she has failed to do so here.