128 F.3d 143 (3rd Cir. 1997), 96-1726, Keener v. Pennsylvania Bd. of Probation & Parole

Docket Nº:96-1726.
Citation:128 F.3d 143
Party Name:George K. KEENER v. PENNSYLVANIA BOARD OF PROBATION & PAROLE; Robert Wienckoski George K. Keener, Appellant.
Case Date:October 17, 1997
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Page 143

128 F.3d 143 (3rd Cir. 1997)

George K. KEENER



George K. Keener, Appellant.

No. 96-1726.

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

October 17, 1997

Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a) Oct. 2, 1997.

Page 144

George K. Keener, Dallas, PA, Pro Se.

Before: SLOVITER, Chief Judge STAPLETON and COWEN Circuit Judges.



Appellant George Keener seeks to appeal the order of the district court denying his motion for leave to proceed in that court in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). Following the filing of his notice of appeal Keener sought to proceed in this court in forma pauperis and requested appointment of counsel. We have determined that the issue is a straightforward one which can be decided without further briefing, and deny the motion for counsel.

The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), which was enacted on April 26, 1996, precludes a prisoner from proceeding in forma pauperis if that 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).

The district court denied Keener's motion to proceed in forma pauperis because he had previously filed numerous civil rights actions which had been dismissed as frivolous by that court. The most recent three were dismissed on July 12, 1995, March 1, 1995, and February 4, 1994, all before the enactment of the PLRA. Thus this appeal requires us to decide whether lawsuits dismissed as frivolous before the enactment of the PLRA can be counted toward the Act's "three strikes" provisions. 1

In Landgraf v. USI Film Products, 511 U.S. 244, 280, 114 S.Ct. 1483, 1505, 128 L.Ed.2d 229 (1994), the Supreme Court directed courts to determine the retroactive application of a new statute which does not expressly prescribe its reach by ascertaining whether its application to pending cases would "impair rights a party possessed when he acted, increase a party's liability for past conduct, or impose new duties with respect to transactions already completed."


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