Dehen v. Doe et al

Filing 14

ORDER Denying 11 Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis. The Complaint is dismissed without prejudice and may be re-opened if Plaintiff pays the required filing fee within 45 days of the signature date of this Order. Signed by Judge Roger T. Benitez on 4/24/2017.(All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(knb)

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Case 3:17-cv-00198-BEN-WVG Document 14 Filed 04/25/17 PageID.253 Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 TIFFANY DEHEN, Case No.: 3:17-cv-00198-BEN-WVG Plaintiff, 12 13 v. ORDER DENYING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS 14 JOHN DOE; TWITTER, INC.; UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO, [ECF No. 11] 15 16 Defendants. 17 18 On March 15, 2017, this Court denied Plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma 19 pauperis (“IFP”) because her IFP application lacked complete information about her 20 monthly income. The Court provided Plaintiff a new IFP application and granted her 21 leave to either pay the applicable filing fee or file a renewed motion to proceed IFP 22 within 21 days. Plaintiff subsequently filed an “In Forma Pauperis Decision Appeal” 23 (ECF No. 5), and later, a “Motion to Accept Late In Forma Pauperis Renewed 24 Application” (ECF No. 11). Her second motion includes a completed IFP application 25 and explains that she filed her first motion incorrectly. Upon consideration of Plaintiff’s 26 IFP application and the law, the Court DENIES Plaintiff’s request to proceed IFP. 27 28 All parties instituting any civil action, suit, or proceeding in a district court of the United States, except an application for a writ of habeas corpus, must pay a filing fee. 28 1 3:17-cv-00198-BEN-WVG Case 3:17-cv-00198-BEN-WVG Document 14 Filed 04/25/17 PageID.254 Page 2 of 3 1 U.S.C. § 1914(a). An action may proceed despite a plaintiff’s failure to prepay the entire 2 fee only if he or she is granted leave to proceed IFP pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). 3 Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1), 4 [A]ny court of the United States may authorize the commencement, prosecution or defense of any suit, action or proceeding . . . without prepayment of fees or security therefor, by a person who submits an affidavit that includes a statement of all assets such [person] possesses that the person is unable to pay such fees or give security therefor. 5 6 7 A party “need not be absolutely destitute to obtain benefits of the in forma pauperis 8 9 statute.” Jefferson v. United States, 277 F.2d 723, 725 (9th Cir. 1960). “But ‘the same 10 even-handed care must be employed to assure that federal funds are not squandered to 11 underwrite, at public expense, either frivolous claims or the remonstrances of a suitor 12 who is financially able, in whole or in material part, to pull his own oar.’” Anderson v. 13 California, No. 10-cv-2216 MMA (AJB), 2010 WL 5056019, at *1 (S.D. Cal. Dec. 6, 14 2010) (internal citation omitted). Thus, a court may deny IFP status to an applicant who 15 can pay the filing fee with acceptable sacrifice to other expenses. Greene v. Rodriguez, 16 No. 07-cv-1888 W (BLM), 2008 WL 816797 (S.D. Cal. Mar. 24, 2008). Plaintiff is a recent law school graduate and has no dependents. In Plaintiff’s 17 18 application, she admits to receiving approximately $1,900 in income each month during 19 the past twelve months. (ECF No. 11 at p. 7 § 1.) In 2016, while in law school, she 20 earned approximately $22,000. (Id. at p. 17.) She attests that she has continuously 21 worked since the age of 16. (Id. at pp. 13-14 ¶ 2.) Although she states that she does not 22 expect to receive any income next month (Id. at p. 7 ¶ 1), she also states that she is self- 23 employed (id. at p. 8 § 2, p. 11 ¶ 1). Plaintiff has total monthly expenses of 24 approximately $2,000. Those expenses include $950 in rent, $140 in utilities, $250 for 25 food, $20 for laundry and dry cleaning, $20 for medical and dental expenses, $70 for 26 transportation, $20-40 for taxes, $100-250 for business operation expenses, and $500 in 27 credit card payments. (Id. at pp. 10-11 § 8.) 28 /// 2 3:17-cv-00198-BEN-WVG Case 3:17-cv-00198-BEN-WVG Document 14 Filed 04/25/17 PageID.255 Page 3 of 3 1 Plaintiff has not established entitlement to in forma pauperis status. As a graduate 2 of both college and law school, Plaintiff is the type of plaintiff capable of “pull[ing] [her] 3 own oar.” Anderson, 2010 WL 5056019, at *1. Indeed, Plaintiff admits that she has 4 maintained employment since the age of 16. Although she states that her future income 5 is unknown and she has credit card debt, Plaintiff earned double the poverty level for an 6 individual in 2016 and has a demonstrated ability to earn a living. See 2016 Health & 7 Human Servs. Guidelines, available at 8 2016/01/25/2016-01450/annual-update-of-the-hhs-poverty-guidelines (last visited Apr. 9 20, 2017). 10 Accordingly, the Court finds that Plaintiff is not indigent within the meaning of the 11 IFP statute and DENIES her request to proceed IFP. See, e.g., Ross v. San Diego Cnty., 12 No. 08-cv-0107 BEN (RBB), 2008 WL 440413, at *1 (S.D. Cal. Feb. 14, 2008) (denying 13 IFP status to unemployed plaintiff with “significant debt” who received disability 14 payments of approximately $2,100 a month). Plaintiff’s other pending motions are 15 DENIED as moot. (ECF Nos. 5, 13.) The Complaint is DISMISSED without prejudice 16 and may be re-opened if Plaintiff pays the required filing fee within 45 days of the 17 signature date of this Order. 18 19 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: April 24, 2017 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 3:17-cv-00198-BEN-WVG

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