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Knapp v. Hogan

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

December 26, 2013

Eric Charles Rodney KNAPP, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
HOGAN, C.O.; R. Poe, C.O.; J. Etheredge, C.O.; T. Gutierrez, C.O.; Mary Lattimore, Warden, C.O.; Linda Warren, C.O.; J. Whittle, C.O.; Steve White; C. Brown; Danziger; Hein; Kaiser; Kanipe; Keeland; King; Sauceda; Smith; — Ali; Fowler; Mesa; Nelson; O'Connor; Stewart; Vasquez; Campbell; Carillo; Cherry; Doherty; Gentile; Henderson; Klinefelter; Olsen; Seinwerth; D. Brown; Kudlata; Laguna; Lincoln; Rendon; Reyes; Subia; Mynier; Boyd; Kernan; Silva; Hickman; Knowles; Emigh; Grannis; Hansen; Hurdle; Melching; Presley; Rianda; Taylor; Uribe; M. Brown; Broyles; Clevenstine; Hensley; Knipp; Leeworthy; McNeil; Reaves; Robinson; Stanley, Defendants-Appellees.

Argued and Submitted Nov. 6, 2013.

Page 1107

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1108

Mark T. Roche (argued), Baker & McKenzie LLP, San Francisco, CA; Erin Tanner and Angela Vigil, Baker & McKenzie LLP, Dallas, TX, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Jaime Ganson (argued), Deputy Attorney General, Office of the California Attorney General, Sacramento, CA, for Defendants-Appellees J. Etheredge, Linda Warren, T. Gutierrez, R. Poe, Hogan, and Mary Lattimore.

Peter C. Zilaff (argued), Longyear, O'Dea & Lavra, LLP, Sacramento, CA, for Defendant-Appellee J. Whittle.

Damon M. Thurston (argued) and Geoffrey A. Beaty, Rankin, Sproat, Mires, Beaty & Reynolds, Oakland, CA, for Defendant-Appellee Steve White.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, Kimberly J. Mueller, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. No. 2:05-cv-02520-KJM-CMK.

Before: JEROME FARRIS, FERDINAND F. FERNANDEZ, and SANDRA S. IKUTA, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

FARRIS, Senior Circuit Judge:

Knapp is a California state prisoner who alleges various civil rights claims against prison and other state officials under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The general theory behind these claims is that prison officials began a long course of retaliatory conduct, of which the governmental actors were aware, because of Knapp's mother's website— a website dedicated to exposing prison corruption and fighting for inmates' rights. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants. Knapp appealed. The defendants now move to dismiss, arguing that Knapp is disqualified from proceeding in forma pauperis.

Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, a prisoner may not proceed in forma pauperis after having three prior actions dismissed for certain enumerated reasons (these are called " strikes" ). 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). Knapp has filed many civil actions, but in contention here are three district court cases and two appeals. All three of the trial court actions resulted in dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a): Knapp's pleadings were dismissed for being too long and incoherent. See Knapp v. Knowles, No. 2:03-cv-00394 (E.D.Cal.2004); Knapp v. Knowles, No. 2:06-cv-00453 (E.D.Cal.2007); Knapp v. Harrison, No. 06-cv-07702, 2008 WL 4334683 (C.D.Cal.2008). Knapp appealed two of these dismissals, and this Court denied relief after receiving certifications from the district court that the appeals were " not in good faith." Knapp v. Knowles, No. 04-16701 (9th Cir.2005); Knapp v. Harrison, No. 08-56629 (9th Cir.2009). At issue is whether at least three of these dismissals counted as a strike under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, thus disqualifying Knapp from in forma pauperis status. We have jurisdiction pursuant to ...


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