Schnell v. Commissioner of Social Security
ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman on 10/27/17, DENYING plaintiff's 2 Motion to Proceed IFP. Within 28 days of this order, plaintiff shall pay the applicable filing fee. However, the court will entertain a request for a reasonable extension of time to pay the fee should such an extension be necessary. (Kastilahn, A)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
JONATHAN M.D. SCHNELL,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
Presently pending before the court is plaintiff’s motion for leave to proceed without the
prepayment of fees and costs, also referred to as in forma pauperis, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915.1 (ECF No. 2.)
The affidavit in support of the motion indicates that plaintiff has a monthly gross income
from his employment at U-Haul in the amount of $1,525.30 to $1,906.60, as well as additional
monthly income of $750 from an accident settlement. Therefore, plaintiff at a minimum receives
$2,275.30 per month ($1,525.30 + $750), i.e., $27,303.60 annually. According to the United
States Department of Health and Human Services, the poverty guideline for a household of 1
This case was referred to the undersigned pursuant to E.D. Cal. L.R. 302(c)(15).
person not residing in Alaska or Hawaii is $12,060 for 2017. See https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-
guidelines. Thus, plaintiff’s gross household income is over 200% of the 2017 poverty guideline.
Presently, a filing fee of $400.00 is required to commence a civil action in this court. The
court may authorize the commencement of an action “without prepayment of fees or security
therefor” by a person that is unable to pay such fees or provide security therefor. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(1). Here, the court cannot find that plaintiff is unable to pay, or provide security for, the
court filing fee. To be sure, the court is sympathetic to the fact that plaintiff does not have a large
income, and that plaintiff also has several expenses to contend with. However, numerous litigants
in this court have significant monthly expenditures, and may have to make difficult choices as to
which expenses to incur, which expenses to reduce or eliminate, and how to apportion their
income between such expenses and litigating an action in federal court. Such difficulties in
themselves do not amount to indigency. Moreover, in this case, plaintiff lists a total of about
$900 in monthly expenses, which should leave plaintiff with sufficient income to pay the filing
fee, even if he did not opt to eliminate any of his listed expenses.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
2. Within 28 days of this order, plaintiff shall pay the applicable filing fee. However, the
Plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 2) is DENIED.
court will entertain a request for a reasonable extension of time to pay the fee should
such an extension be necessary.
3. Failure to timely pay the filing fee, or timely request an extension of time to do so,
may result in dismissal of the action pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: October 27, 2017
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