These cases are only interesting because they are filed by Michael Contreras, a convicted murderer who has latched on the Gender Identity as a way to pass the time in prison (along with claiming to want to practice Native American religions, Islam and Judaism). He won’t be able to file pro se litigation anymore for free because the court (correctly) decided his lawsuits are frivolous, but maybe the Gender Queers could fundraise for him to continue filing lawsuits! Here is an article on how Gender Queers like Tobi Hill-Meyer and Bil Browning have propped him up. Also, Contreras refers to himself in MALE pronouns in some of his litigation. So much for “misgendering” – kind of makes me think this convicted murderer is also a con artist. Here is the con artist’s WordPress blog.
Quetzal Contreraz (“Plaintiff”) is a prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed the complaint commencing this action on July 30, 2004. (Doc. 1.) On Plaintiff’s complaint, he listed his name as “Quetzal Contreraz” with CDC number C-45857. Id. at 1. On August 20, 2004, Plaintiff filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis and attached his trust account statement, listing the name used by the prison to identify him, Michael Contreras, with CDC number C-45857. (Doc. 3.) This case now proceeds with the Second Amended Complaint filed on January 22, 2009, against defendants Michael Raymond (Chaplain) and Derral Adams (Warden), on Plaintiff’s claims for violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, based on the denial of Plaintiff’s request for an exemption from the prison’s inmate grooming standards for religious reasons. (Doc. 32.). On the Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff lists his name as “Quetzala Contreraz aka Lofofora Eva Contreraz.” Id. at 1.
On July 25, 2011, Plaintiff also filed case 1:11-cv-01222-LJO-GSA-PC (E.D. Cal.); Lofofora Eva Contreraz v. Director of CDCR, listing his name as Lofofora Eva (alleging inadequate treatment for Gender Identity Disorder). (See Complaint in case 1:11-cv-01222-LJO-GSA-PC, Doc. 1.) In that case, Plaintiff also lists CDC number C-45857. Id. at 1. In addition, Plaintiff has used at least twelve different aliases to file lawsuits, i.e., “Michael Contreras” aka Al-Mu’min Jihad-Contreras aka Al-Mu’min Jihad Contreras aka Eva Lofofora Contreras aka Jihad Contreras aka Lofofora Contreras aka Lofofora Eva Contreraz aka Lofofora Eva Contreras aka Lopofora Contreras aka Michael Hernandez Contreras aka Michael Contreraz aka Quetzal Contreras aka Quetzal Contreraz.
A review of Plaintiff’s filing history using CDC number C-45857 reveals that Plaintiff has filed numerous cases under numerous aliases. See, e.g., Lofofora Contreras v. Sherman Block, Sheriff of Los Angeles County, 2:91-cv-03044-JMI-CT (C.D. Cal.); Lofofora Eva Contreras v. Health and Human Services, Secretary, 3:92-cv-03901-JPV, 1992 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19138, at *2-*3 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 9, 1992); Eva Lofofora Contreras v. James Gomez, Director Dept. of Corrections, 3:93-cv-01976-EFL, 1994 WL 478793 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 29, 1994); Lopofora Contreras v. U.S. Department of Interior, 2:93-cv-00949-JGD-CT (C.D. Cal.); Al-Mu’Min Jihad-Contreras v. James Gomez, 2:94-cv-00089-WBS-JFM (E.D. Cal.); Michael Contreras v. Richard NMI Dixon, 2:94-cv-03757-KN-JG (C.D. Cal.); Jihad Contreras v. Virgil Townsend, Superintendent, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 3:94-cv-00732-R-POR (S.D. Cal.); Al-Mu’min Jihad Contreras v. S. Vonbiela, 3:94-cv-01840-DLJ (N.D. Cal. Nov. 8, 1994); Contreras v. Ibarra, No. 1:11-cv-01523-LJO-GBC, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165865; see also Contreras v. Sharon, 1:11-cv-01607-LJO-GBC , 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165836 (E.D. Cal.); Quetzal Contreraz v. D. Adams, 1:04-cv-06039-LJO-GSA (E.D. Cal.) (case pending for claims that Plaintiff is required to shave his facial hair, violating his First Amendment right to practice the Native American Olin Pyramid Religion); Michael Contreraz aka Lofofora Eva Contreraz v. Stockbridge, 1:06-cv-01817-LJO-SKO (E.D. Cal.) (case pending for excessive force); Lofofora Eva Contreraz aka Mike Contreraz aka Michael Hernandez Contreras v. Ken Salazar, Secretary, U.S. Department of Interior, 3:11-cv-00265-GPC-PCL (S.D. Cal.)
THREE STRIKES LEGAL STANDARD
The Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (“PLRA”) was enacted “to curb frivolous prisoner complaints and appeals.” Silva v. Di Vittorio, 658 F.3d 1090, 1099-1100 (9th Cir. 2011); Andrews v. Cervantes, 493 F.3d 1047, 1052 (9th Cir. 2007). Pursuant to the PLRA, the in forma pauperis statute was amended to include § 1915(g), a non-merits related screening device which precludes prisoners with three or more “strikes” from proceeding in forma pauperis unless they are under imminent danger of serious physical injury. Andrews, 493 F.3d at 1050. The statute provides that “[i]n no event shall a prisoner bring a civil action . . . under this section if the prisoner has, on three 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). See also Thomas v. Yates, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89172, 2012 WL 2520924, at * 4 (E.D. Cal. June 27, 2012) (finding that appeals count as strikes pursuant to O’Neal v. Price, 531 F.3d 1146, 1153 (9th Cir. 2008)). Determining whether prior dismissals count as strikes under § 1915(g) requires the Court to conduct a “careful examination of the order dismissing an action, and other relevant information,” to determine if, in fact, “the action was dismissed because it was frivolous, malicious or failed to state a claim.” Andrews, 398 F.3d at 1121. In making the determination whether a dismissal counts as a strike, it is the substance of the dismissal which is determinative, not the styling of the dismissal.O’Neal, 531 F.3d at 1153.
THREE STRIKES ANALYSIS
On August 26, 2004, the Court granted Plaintiff’s application to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 4.) A review of the record of actions filed by Plaintiff in the United States District Court reveals that Plaintiff has filed at least three actions that were dismissed as frivolous, malicious, or for failing to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. The Court takes judicial notice of the following cases which count as strikes:
(1) Lofofora Eva Contreras v. Health and Human Services Secretary, 3:92-cv-03901-JPV, 1992 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19138, at *2-*3(dismissed on December 9, 1992 at the Northern District of California for failure to state a claim). The Court found that 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d) authorizes federal courts to dismiss a claim filed in forma pauperis sua sponte upon determining that the claim is premised on a meritless legal theory. The Court dismissed Plaintiff’s claim for court approval of a paralegal course by mail to count as a rehabilitation program to qualify for social security benefits pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 402, because a federal district court is not the proper court to grant or deny program approval pursuant to § 402. Plaintiff must first seek relief in the state court under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), and 20 C.F.R. 404.900-982 before the case can be brought in federal court;
(2) Eva Lofofora Contreras v. James Gomez, Director Dept. of Corrections, 3:93-cv-01976-EFL, 1994 WL 478793 (Dismissed on August 29, 1994, at the Northern District of California, for failure to state a claim, and affirmed on appeal) . (“The district court provided Contreras two opportunities to amend his complaint . . . but Contreras failed to cure the defects of his complaint. Accordingly, the district court did not abuse its discretion by dismissing this action without additional leave to amend.” Contreras v. Gomez, 54 F.3d 785 (9th Cir. 1995)); and
(3) Al-Mu’min Jihad Contreras v. S. Vonbiela, 3:94-cv-01840-DLJ (Dismissed on November 8, 1994, at the Northern District of California) (denying motion to proceed in forma pauperis for Plaintiff’s allegations of labeling his mail as “legal mail” and dismissing case for failure to state a claim) (in forma pauperis denied on appeal, No. 94-17219, 9th. Cir. Feb. 28, 1995) (see Contreras v. Ibarra, No. 1:11-cv-01523-LJO-GBC, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165865; see also Contreras v. Sharon, 1:11-cv-01607-LJO-GBC, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165836 (E.D. Cal.) (dismissal order from case No. 3:94-cv-01840-DLJ attached to F&R to revoke IFP).
Thus, Plaintiff has three or more strikes which occurred before Plaintiff filed this action on July 30, 2004. Moreover, Plaintiff does not demonstrate that he faced imminent danger of serious physical injury at the time he filed his complaint. Therefore, the Court finds that Plaintiff should be precluded from proceeding in forma pauperis and revocation of Plaintiff’s in forma pauperis status is appropriate. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). The filing fee for this action is $150.00. Court records show that to date, Plaintiff has paid $90.03 and [*10] owes a balance of $59.97.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
Based on the foregoing, it is HEREBY RECOMMENDED that:
1. Plaintiff’s in forma pauperis status be REVOKED, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g);
2. The Court’s orders of August 26, 2004, which granted Plaintiff in forma pauperis status and directed the Director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or his designee to deduct payments for the $150.00 filing fee from Plaintiff’s trust account, be VACATED;
3. The Clerk of the Court be DIRECTED to serve a copy of this order on (1) the Financial Department, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, Fresno Division, and (2) the Director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via the Court’s electronic case filing system (CM/ECF); and
4. Plaintiff be required to PAY the balance of $59.97 owed for the filing fee for this action, in full, within fifteen (15) days or this action will be dismissed, without prejudice.
1. Contreraz v. Dir. of CDCR, 1:11-cv-01222-LJO-GSA-PC, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165862, November 20, 2012, Decided, November 20, 2012.
2. Contreras v. Sharon, CASE NO. 1:11-cv-01607-LJO-GBC (PC), UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165867, November 19, 2012, Decided, November 19, 2012.
3. Contreraz v. Adams, 1:04-cv-06039-LJO-GSA-PC, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165884, November 19, 2012, Decided, November 20, 2012.
4. Contreras v. Ibarra, CASE NO. 1:11-cv-01523-LJO-GBC (PC), UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165865, November 19, 2012, Decided, November 19, 2012.