The three-strike provision of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA)' was implemented to curb the filing of frivolous and meritless claims by prisoner litigants in federal courts. Although the PLRA is over two decades old, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit had not had an opportunity to interpret the three-strike provision until May of 2016. Daker v. Commissioner, Georgia Department of Corrections tasked the court with determining what constitutes a strike under the PLRA and whether a serial litigant had accrued three strikes in the dismissals of his previous filings.3 The court determined that want of prosecution and lack of jurisdiction did not constitute strikes under the Act and concluded that the plaintiff was not barred from filing suits under the Act.4 The Eleventh Circuit's strict adherence to the text of the statute will work to keep the doors of the courthouse open for prisoner litigants, but may require additional restriction and further deterrence to curb the potential inundation of litigation.
Hancock, Beatrice C.
"Three Strikes and You're Still In? Interpreting the Three-Strike Provision of the Prison Litigation Reform Act in the Eleventh Circuit,"
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 68:
4, Article 14.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol68/iss4/14