United States District Court, D. Maryland
Catherine C. Blake United States District Judge
self-represented litigant David Meyers's third action in
this court challenging the denial of his Social Security
Benefits. See Meyers v. Commissioner, Social Security
Administration, Civil No. ELH-18-00129 (D. Md. 2018);
Meyers v. U.S. District Court, Baltimore Division, et
al., ELH-18-2918 (D. Md. 2018). Meyers, who is an inmate
at Red Onion State Prison in Virginia, filed this case on
October 22, 2018 on a preprinted form on which he indicates
the case is filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (federal
question jurisdiction). He later filed a "Motion to
Amend Error" indicating his intention to file this
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983.(ECF Nos. 1, 5.)
Recognizing that Meyers is a self-represented plaintiff, the
court will grant the motion as a request to construe his
claims under Bivens v. Six Unknown Fed Agents, 403
U.S. 388 (1971) (establishing a cause of action against
federal officials for the violation of federal constitutional
rights). Additionally, Meyers has filed a Motion
for Appointment of Counsel (ECF No. 3) and a Motion for
Injunctive Relief (ECF No. 4).
filed this Complaint with a Motion for Leave to Proceed in
Forma Pauperis. (ECF No. 2.) The in forma pauperis statute
limits the ability of prisoners to file civil actions without
prepayment of filing fees. McLean v. United States,
566 F.3d 391, 393 (4th Cir. 2009). The statute contains a
"three strikes" rule, codified at 28 U.S.C. §
1915(g), which provides:
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 physical injury.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). Thus, "[w]hen a prisoner has
previously filed at least three actions or appeals that were
dismissed on the grounds that they were frivolous, malicious,
or failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted,
the Act's 'three strikes' provision requires that
the prisoner demonstrate imminent danger of serious physical
injury in order to proceed without prepayment of
fees" McLean, 566 F.3d at 393-94 (citing 28
U.S.C. § 1915(g)).
court takes notice that Meyers has received three or more
strikes. See Meyers v. United States District Court,
No. 2:07-cv-00363 (E.D. Va. Nov. 1, 2007); Meyers v. City
of Petersburg, No. 2:03-cv-00248 (E.D. Va. Apr.
11, 2003); Meyers v. Bass, No. 2:95-cv-00774 (E.D.
Va. Aug. 15, 1995). See also Meyers v. Virginia State
Bar, No. 08-6849 (4th Cir. July 10, 2008) (unpublished)
(finding that the three listed dismissals are strikes under
§ 1915(g) and denying Meyers's motion to proceed
without prepayment of appeal fees on that ground). Meyers may
proceed in this case only if he pays the $400 civil filing
fee or shows he is in imminent danger of serious physical
injury. Permitting Meyers to pay the filing fee or
otherwise amend his filings, however, would only delay
resolution of this case. For reasons below, this case will be
dismissed with prejudice for failure to state a claim.
January 12, 2018, Meyers, who is incarcerated at Red Onion
State Prison in Virginia, filed an action pursuant to
sections 205(g) and 1631(c)(3) of the Social Security Act, as
amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g); § 1383(c)(3),
for review of a final decision of the Commissioner of the
Social Security Administration ("the Commissioner")
which denied his application for Supplemental Security Income
("SSI") payments. Judge Ellen L. Hollander referred
the matter to Magistrate Judge Stephanie Gallagher for a
report and recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 301.5(b). Magistrate Judge
Gallagher issued a Report and Recommendations on September
11, 2018, to which Meyers filed objections. See Meyers v.
Commissioner, Social Security Administration, Civil No.
ELH-18-00129 (D. Md. 2018).
October 17, 2018, Judge Hollander adopted Magistrate Judge
Stephanie Gallagher's Report and Recommendations and
affirmed the Social Security Administration's (SSA)
denial of Meyers's claim for benefits, after conducting a
de novo review of those portions of the Report and
Recommendations to which objections had been made. Judge
Hollander concluded that the objections lacked merit and
concurred with Judge Gallagher's assessment that this
court lacked jurisdiction to consider Meyers's claims.
Id. at 1.
October 30, 2018, Meyers appealed this decision to the United
States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Meyers v.
Commissioner of Social Security Administration, CA4 No.
second related case, Meyers v. U.S. District Court,
Baltimore Division, et al., ELH-18-2918 (D. Md. 2018),
Meyers sought mandamus relief to compel the SSA to
recalculate the back payments he alleged were owed to him and
requested a hearing on his "appeal" from
determinations by Acting Commissioner Nancy Berryhill and
Magistrate Judge Gallagher denying him SSA benefits he
alleges were owed to him for a period before his
incarceration. Judge Hollander denied the petition for
mandamus relief on October 9, 2018. On October 30, 2018,
Meyers appealed this decision to the United States Court of
Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Meyers v. U.S. District
Court, Baltimore Division, et al., ELH-18-2918 (D. Md.
2018), ECF No. 5.
claims: 1) the Commissioner discriminated against him and
denied him due process by denying him benefits in January
1997 without providing him a disability hearing or mental
health examination; 2) the Commissioner and Secretary of the
Department of Health and Human Services improperly denied his
benefits for the period between 1997 and 2011; and 3) Felicia
Cannon, the Clerk of Court, filed his complaint as a writ of
mandamus; "which Judge Ellen Hollander and Judge
Stephanie Gallagher dismissed with fraud upon the
court." (ECF No. 1 at 1.) As relief he requests back
payments of his benefits, $500, 000 damages for mental
anguish and denial of mental health services, $2, 000, 000
for compensatory damages, and for the court to compel a
mental health evaluation, (Id.)
first two claims reprise those he presented in Meyers v.
Commissioner, Social Security Administration, Civil No.
ELH-18-0129. In that case, Meyers alleged that his
constitutional right to due process was violated when the
Administrative Law Judge failed to reopen the prior Title
application he filed on January 3, 1997. Meyers had alleged a
violation of his "federal constitutional privilege right
to subpoena duces tecum of records ...