Smith-Cousins v. Luccil
ORDER Denying 2 Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis without Prejudice; Denying 3 Motion to Appoint Counsel without Prejudice. Within fourteen days of the date of this Order, Plaintiff shall either: (a) pay the requisite $400 filing fee, or (b) file a renewed motion for IFP containing the requisite information regarding his ability to pay the costs of commencing this action. If Plaintiff fails to timely submit payment or a renewed motion for IFP, this case must be dismissed. Signed by Judge Michael M. Anello on 5/2/2017. (All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(ag)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
Case No.: 17cv0848-MMA (JLB)
JONATHON C. SMITH-COUSINS,
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO
PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS;
[Doc. No. 2]
DENYING MOTION TO APPOINT
[Doc. No. 3]
On April 26, 2017, Plaintiff Jonathon C. Smith-Cousins filed this action, and
simultaneously filed a motion to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”) and a motion for
appointment of counsel. See Doc. Nos. 1, 2, 3.
All parties instituting any civil action, suit or proceeding in a district court of the
United States, except an application for writ of habeas corpus, must pay a filing fee of
$400. See 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). An action may proceed despite a plaintiff’s failure to
prepay the entire fee only if he is granted leave to proceed IFP pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a). See Rodriguez v. Cook, 169 F.3d 1176, 1177 (9th Cir. 1999). “To proceed in
forma pauperis is a privilege not a right.” Smart v. Heinze, 347 F.2d 114, 116 (9th Cir.
1965). A party need not be completely destitute to proceed in forma pauperis. Adkins v.
E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 335 U.S. 331, 339–40 (1948). But “the same even-1-
handed care must be employed to assure that federal funds are not squandered to
underwrite, at public expense, either frivolous claims or the remonstrances of a suitor
who is financially able, in whole or in material part, to pull his own oar.” Temple v.
Ellerthorpe, 586 F. Supp. 848, 850 (D.R.I. 1984).
Plaintiff does not provide sufficient information for the Court to determine whether
he should be granted IFP status. For example, Plaintiff provides contradictory responses
regarding his monthly income, stating both that he has no monthly income and also that
he receives $984.00 in monthly disability payments. Similarly, Plaintiff indicates that he
pays $75.00 per month for motor vehicle insurance, but lists his monthly expenses as
$0.00. Further, Plaintiff does not provide the value of the car that he lists as an asset, nor
does he respond to Question 12 by identifying the city and state where he resides.
Plaintiff must answer every question listed on the IFP application form.
Based on the foregoing, the Court concludes it lacks sufficient information to
determine whether or not it is outside of Plaintiff’s means to pay the costs of
commencing this action. Accordingly, the Court DENIES without prejudice Plaintiff’s
motion to proceed IFP. Doc. No. 2; see Civ. L.R. 3.2. Within fourteen days of the date
of this Order, Plaintiff shall either: (a) pay the requisite $400 filing fee, or (b) file a
renewed motion for IFP containing the requisite information regarding his ability to pay
the costs of commencing this action. If Plaintiff fails to timely submit payment or a
renewed motion for IFP, this case must be dismissed. Lastly, the Court DENIES
Plaintiff’s motion for appointment of counsel without prejudice to Plaintiff refiling his
motion. See Doc. No. 3.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Date: May 2, 2017
Hon. Michael M. Anello
United States District Judge
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