Beeunas v. Berryhill

Filing 4

ORDER 2 Denying Without Prejudice Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis. Plaintiff within thirty days of the date on which this Order is electronically docketed may either (1) file a new Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis addressing the Court's above-mentioned concerns, or (2) pay the $400 filing fee. Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 8/14/2017. (mpl)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 9 COURTNEY LAINE BEEUNAS, Case No.: 17cv1521-JLS (AGS) Plaintiff, 10 11 12 ORDER DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS v. NANCY A. BERRYHILLL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, 13 14 (ECF No. 2) Defendant. 15 16 Presently before the Court is Plaintiff Courtney Beeunas’s Motion to Proceed In 17 Forma Pauperis (“IFP Mot.”). (ECF No. 2.) Plaintiff has filed an action requesting that 18 this Court review and reverse the Social Security Administration’s (“SSA”) denial of 19 benefits. (Compl. 1, ECF No. 1.) 20 IFP MOTION 21 All parties instituting any civil action, suit, or proceeding in a district court of the 22 United States, except an application for writ of habeas corpus, must pay a filing fee of 23 $400. See 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). An action may proceed despite a plaintiff’s failure to prepay 24 the entire fee only if he is granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 25 § 1915(a). See Rodriguez v. Cook, 169 F.3d 1176, 1177 (9th Cir. 1999). A federal court 26 may authorize the commencement of an action without the prepayment of fees if the party 27 submits an affidavit, including a statement of assets, showing that she is unable to pay the 28 required filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). 1 17cv1521-JLS (AGS) 1 In the present case, Plaintiff has submitted an affidavit indicating that she makes no 2 monthly income and has not held a job since February, 2011. (IFP Mot. 2.) Plaintiff has 3 $5.00 in her saving account, $10.00 in her checking account, and a 2011 Toyota Camry 4 worth $5,000. (Id. at 2–3.) However, Plaintiff also notes that she has two dependent 5 children—aged twelve and ten respectively—and that she has monthly expenses totaling 6 $1,070.00. (Id. at 4–5.) This at the very least suggests that Plaintiff either has some other 7 source of income or has not fully explained her financial situation to the Court; how has 8 Plaintiff supported her children and paid her average monthly expenses without any income 9 for almost six years? Accordingly, the Court cannot at this time make an informed decision 10 regarding whether Plaintiff is able to pay the $400 filing fee to proceed in federal court. 11 CONCLUSION Given the foregoing, the Court DENIES WITHOUT PREJUDICE Plaintiff’s 12 13 Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. Plaintiff—within thirty days of the date on which 14 this Order is electronically docketed—may either (1) file a new Motion to Proceed In 15 Forma Pauperis addressing the Court’s above-mentioned concerns, or (2) pay the $400 16 filing fee.1 17 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: August 14, 2017 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 The Court also notes that if Plaintiff again moves for leave to proceed in forma pauperis the Court will be required to sua sponte screen Plaintiff’s underlying Complaint. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); see also Calhoun v. Stahl, 254 F.3d 845, 845 (9th Cir. 2001) (“[T]he provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) are not limited to prisoners.”). And given Plaintiff’s current, cursory allegations, the underlying Complaint would likely be subject to dismissal. See Montoya v. Colvin, No. 2:16-cv-00454-RFB-NJK, 2016 WL 890922, at *2 (D. Nev. Mar. 8, 2016) (collecting cases) (finding that the plaintiff failed to state a claim for relief where the complaint merely alleged that the Commissioner’s decision to deny benefits was wrong without explaining why or providing facts regarding claimant’s disability, and instead simply recited the general standards governing review of that decision); see also Hoagland v. Astrue, No. 1:12CV-00973-SMS, 2012 WL 2521753, at *1 (E.D. Cal. June 28, 2012) (“The purpose of the complaint is to briefly and plainly allege facts supporting the legal conclusion that the Commissioner’s decision was wrong.” (citing Brown v. Astrue, No. 11-cv-056-JL, 2011 WL 3664429, at *3 (D.N.H. Aug. 19, 2011)). 2 17cv1521-JLS (AGS)

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