Hanson v. State of Washington
ORDER by Judge Benjamin H Settle denying 1 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis and giving plaintiff until March 6, 2012 to pay filing fee.(TG; cc mailed to plaintiff)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
CASE NO. C11-6038BHS
ORDER DENYING MOTION
TO PROCEED IN FORMA
This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Leif Hanson’s (“Hanson”) motion
to proceed in forma pauperis (Dkt. 1). The Court has reviewed the briefs filed in support
of and in opposition to the motion and the remainder of the file and hereby denies the
motion for the reasons stated herein.
On December 21, 2011, Hanson filed a motion to proceed in forma pauperis and a
proposed complaint. Dkt. 1. Hanson seeks a ruling that the “Washington State
Department of Early Learning licensing requirement” that prevents sex discrimination in
hiring is unconstitutional because it violates Hanson’s First Amendment right to the free
exercise of religion. Id.
The district court may permit indigent litigants to proceed in forma pauperis upon
completion of a proper affidavit of indigency. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). However, the
Court has broad discretion in denying an application to proceed in forma pauperis.
Weller v. Dickson, 314 F.2d 598 (9th Cir. 1963), cert. denied, 375 U.S. 845 (1963). “A
district court may deny leave to proceed in forma pauperis at the outset if it appears from
ORDER - 1
the face of the proposed complaint that the action is frivolous or without merit.” Tripati
v. First Nat’l Bank & Trust, 821 F.2d 1368, 1369 (9th Cir. 1987).
In this case, the Court is not persuaded that Hanson should be allowed to proceed
in forma pauperis. First, Hanson alleges that he is a small business owner and that the
licensing requirement interferes with his right to hire employees. Hanson, however, has
failed to disclose on his application any income in relation to this business. Second,
Hanson’s proposed complaint appears to be without merit because anti-discrimination
laws governing employment are a well settled aspect of Washington and federal law.
Therefore, the Court denies Hanson’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis. Hanson must
pay the filing fee for this action no later than March 6, 2012 or this case will be
dismissed. Hanson is hereby advised that, even if he pays the filing fee, his complaint
may be dismissed as frivolous.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED this 6th day of February, 2012.
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE
United States District Judge
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