Fee Award Against Frivolous Prisoner Litigant Reduced
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The court had awarded fees of almost $2900 against the plaintiff after ruling against him on the merits of his claims. The Fourth Circuit reversed and held that the 12 factors listed in Johnson v. Georgia Highway Express must be applied. The court notes that the plaintiff generated a flood of pleadings and constantly changed his allegations, and that many of his allegations were factually meritless. It concedes that it may have weighed his prior litigation history too heavily. It notes that the amount of this award might discourage prisoners with meritorious claims from bringing them, and that the likelihood of ever receiving payment is so low that imposing such an award is "folly." Therefore the court reduces the award to $900. See: McGlothlin v. Murray, 54 F.Supp.2d 629 (W.D.Va. 1999).