(PC) Delphin v. Morley, et al.

Filing 93

ORDER DENYING Plaintiff's 92 Request the Court Pay His Copy Fees Associated With Discovery, signed by Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto on 1/18/2023. (Marrujo, C)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 JEREMY DELPHIN, 12 13 14 Plaintiff, v. J. MORLEY, et al., 15 Case No. 1:19-cv-01076-JLT-SKO (PC) ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S REQUEST THE COURT PAY HIS COPY FEES ASSOCIATED WITH DISCOVERY (Doc. 92) Defendants. 16 17 18 Plaintiff Jeremy Delphin is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. PLAINTIFF’S REQUEST 19 I. 20 On January 12, 2023, Plaintiff filed a document titled “Poor Person’s Order.” (Doc. 92.) 21 Plaintiff asks the Court “to pay copying costs under a ‘Poor Person’s Order,’” noting he uses his 22 inmate trust funds “to buy canteen” to offset the small portions served, leaving him “with no 23 money.” (Id.) Plaintiff also states the remaining restitution causes him to have less money. (Id.) 24 Plaintiff states he is “financially unable to pay for the Discovery,” as the request involves “a lot of 25 pages.” (Id.) 26 II. 27 The Court initially notes that Plaintiff was advised on May 7, 2019, that the Clerk’s Office 28 DISCUSSION does not provide copies of documents to parties and that “In Forma Pauperis status does not 1 include the cost of copies.” (Doc. 3 [letter dated 5/7/19].) Additionally, in the First Informational 2 Order In Prisoner/Civil Detainee Civil Rights Case, issued August 6, 2019, Plaintiff was advised 3 that the “Court will not make copies of file documents or provide postage or envelopes for free 4 even for parties proceeding in forma pauperis.” (Doc. 6 at 3.) The Court is not familiar with Plaintiff’s phrase “Poor Person’s Order.” Plaintiff has not 5 6 cited any rule, statute or case that entitles an indigent litigant to obtain copies without paying the 7 associated costs, and the Court is unaware of any such authority. While 28 U.S.C. § 1915 gives 8 the court authority to allow an indigent plaintiff to pay the filing fee over time from his inmate 9 trust account, it does not give courts the authority to order the payment of a plaintiff’s associated 10 court costs, either by the Court or over time by the plaintiff. 11 The Ninth Circuit has held that district courts lack the authority to pay witness fees and 12 mileage costs necessary to enable a civil rights plaintiff’s medical witnesses to testify. Tedder v. 13 Odel, 890 F.2d 210, 211-12 (9th Cir. 1989) (quoting United States v. MacCollom, 426 U.S. 317, 14 321 (1976) (“the expenditure of public funds [on behalf of an indigent litigant] is proper only 15 when authorized by Congress”)). It has also held that “a plaintiff proceeding in forma pauperis is 16 not protected from the taxation of costs to which a prevailing defendant is entitled.” Warren v. 17 Guelker, 29 F.3d 1386, 1390 (9th Cir. 1994) (per curiam). A court in this district has held that a 18 plaintiff’s “in forma pauperis status does not entitle him to a waiver of any of the costs associated 19 with [a deposition]; instead, he must pay the necessary deposition officer fee, court reporter fee, 20 and costs for a transcript.” Shepherd v. Neuschmid, No. 2:19-cv-00084 JAM DB P, 2021 WL 21 117915, at *7 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 29, 2021). The Third Circuit has held that “[a]s a general rule, 22 indigent litigants bear their own litigation expenses” Tabron v. Grace, 6 F.3d 147, 159-60 (3d 23 Cir. 1993). There is no “Poor Person’s Order” for discovery under the federal statutes or rules. In 24 25 sum, the expenditure of public funds on behalf of an indigent litigant is proper only when 26 authorized by Congress, and the in forma pauperis statute does not authorize the expenditure of 27 public funds for the purpose sought by Plaintiff in the instant request. 28 // 2 1 III. CONCLUSION AND ORDER 2 For the reasons stated above, Plaintiff’s “Poor Person’s Order” (Doc. 92) is DENIED. 3 4 5 6 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: /s/ Sheila K. Oberto January 18, 2023 . UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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