United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
D. PETERSON, DISTRICT JUDGE
Randy Lee Rindahl, appearing pro se, is a state of South
Dakota inmate. He alleged that state of Wisconsin officials
fraudulently reported to South Dakota officials another
prisoner's criminal history as his own, which led to him
being denied parole. Rindahl sought leave to proceed in
forma pauperis, but I concluded that he is ineligible
for that status under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), because he
has “struck out” under § 1915(g) by having
at least three previous cases dismissed for being frivolous,
malicious, or failing to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted. Dkt. 6, at 2. Rindahl's claims were not about
him being placed in imminent danger of serious physical harm,
so I dismissed the case and gave him a short time to reopen
the case by paying the full $400 filing fee. Id. I
also noted that Rindahl had failed to comply with a sanctions
order issued by the United States District Court for the
District of South Dakota telling him to attach copies of the
court's orders discussing his previous misconduct-
falsification of a series of documents-to any future
complaint he filed. Id. I told him that if he sought
to reopen his case, he must show cause why this court should
not dismiss the case for failing to comply with the South
Dakota district court's order. Id. at 3.
has responded by filing two identical documents titled
“Motion to Vacate.” Dkt. 8 and Dkt. 10. Rindahl
says that he did not strike out under § 1915(g), citing
a ruling from the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in
one of his recent cases. Rindahl v. Oliver, No.
19-1412, 2019 WL 3072538 (4th Cir. July 15, 2019). The
district court in that case dismissed Rindahl's case
under the three-strike rule, but the court of appeals
concluded that four of the five strikes mentioned by the
district court should not be counted as strikes under Fourth
Circuit law because they were dismissals without
prejudice for failure to state a claim. Id.
(citing McLean v. United States, 566 F.3d 391 (4th
problem for Rindahl is that McLean is not the law of
this circuit. The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
expressly considered the McLean decision and
rejected that standard, concluding that “[a] dismissal
is a dismissal, and provided that it is on one of the grounds
specified in section 1915(g) it counts as a strike, whether
or not it's with prejudice.” Paul v.
Marberry, 658 F.3d 702, 704 (7th Cir. 2011).
says that he wants “the [c]ourt to address”
Coleman v. Labor & Indus. Review Comm'n of
Wisconsin, 860 F.3d 461 (7th Cir. 2017), a Seventh
Circuit case citing McLean. But Coleman was
about whether a magistrate judge could issue an order
dismissing a case for failure to state a claim, without
defendants having consented to the magistrate's
jurisdiction. The court of appeals mentioned McLean
in discussing how dismissals for failure to state a claim are
generally considered dismissals “on the merits”
for purposes of the magistrate-jurisdiction rules.
Id. at 468. Coleman did not address the
question whether dismissals without prejudice count as
strikes, so that case does not provide any reason for me to
reconsider my previous decision. As I stated in my previous
order, Rindahl has three strikes under this circuit's
standard, so he may not proceed in forma pauperis
with his complaint containing non-imminent-danger claims.
ordinarily give Rindahl another chance to submit the $400
filing fee, but I conclude that regardless of the
three-strikes issue, his complaint should be dismissed under
the sanctions he was given by the South Dakota district
court. Rindahl did not submit copies of the district
court's orders discussing his misconduct. Rindahl
responded to my order to show cause by saying, without
supporting evidence, that South Dakota prison officials
violated his right to access the courts by “refusing to
provide any means of Hard-Copy Case Law.” Dkt. 8, at 3.
It's unclear why he would need access to case law when
the orders he needs were issued in his own case.
event, he says that he substantially complied with the
sanction by mentioning it in the “introduction
letter” he attached to his complaint. See Dkt.
1-4. But in that letter, he states only the case number under
which he was sanctioned. He does not mention that he was
sanctioned in that case or why he was sanctioned. So another
reason to dismiss the case is Rindahl's failure to follow
the South Dakota's district court order by notifying this
court that he was sanctioned by the South Dakota court. I
will deny Rindahl's motion to reopen this case. If
Rindahl ever files another case in this court in forma
pauperis, he will need to comply with § 1915.
Regardless whether his next case is filed in forma
pauperis or not, he will also have to comply with the
South Dakota order by either attaching a copy of the
sanctions order or explaining in writing why he was
ORDERED that plaintiff Randy Lee Rindahl's motion to
reopen the ...