Happy Star Wars Day!
Judge Rosenbaum has an interesting opinion about a bad cop here. From the intro:
Defendant-Appellant Timothy Filbeck was a lieutenant with the Butts County Sheriff’s Office. When his house was foreclosed upon, he, like anyone else who has been through foreclosure, had certain options available to him. But arresting the new owner’s agents, Plaintiffs-Appellees David Carter, Clayton Graham, Jr., and Mitchell Webster (collectively, “Plaintiffs”), who were lawfully performing their jobs, was not one of them. And neither was ordering Plaintiffs handcuffed and thrown in jail overnight. We think that should go without saying. Yet Filbeck did these things, anyway. Now Filbeck tries to convince us that he is immune from suit. We are not persuaded. Being a law-enforcement officer is not a license to break the law. And it is certainly not a shield behind which Filbeck may abuse his power with impunity.
UPDATE -- Judge William Pryor has issued another pro-defendant opinion, this time for a pro-se serial filer:
This appeal presents a question of first impression about the “three strikes”
provision of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, which ordinarily denies in forma
pauperis status to a prisoner who “on 3 or more prior occasions” brought a federal
action or appeal that “was dismissed on the grounds that it is frivolous, malicious,
or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted,” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
Waseem Daker is a state prisoner and a serial litigator in federal courts. Daker has
submitted over a thousand pro se filings in over a hundred actions and appeals in at
least nine different federal courts. In this lawsuit, the district court denied Daker’s
petition to proceed in forma pauperis because it concluded that he had six strikes
under the Act. Two of Daker’s earlier filings were dismissed for lack of
jurisdiction, and the other four were dismissed for want of prosecution. In three of
the four dismissals for want of prosecution, a judge of this Court determined that
Daker could not proceed in forma pauperis because his filings were frivolous. But
a single circuit judge cannot dismiss an action or appeal, Fed. R. App. P. 27(c);
instead, panels of this Court dismissed Daker’s filings because he failed to pay the
filing fee, 11th Cir. R. 42-1(b). Although Daker is a serial litigant who has clogged
the federal courts with frivolous litigation, we must follow the text of the Act,
which does not classify his six prior dismissals for lack of jurisdiction and want of
prosecution as strikes. We vacate the dismissal of Daker’s complaint and remand
for further proceedings.