Marinkovic v. Cockerham

Filing 7

Order: (1) Denying Motion to Seal IFP Application; and (2) Denying Application to Proceed IFP.Plaintiff must pay the filing fee for each case or submit adequate proof of his inability to do so no later than May 30, 2024. Signed by Judge Cynthia Bashant on 05/09/2024. (All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(mjw)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 11 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 12 13 MELVIN MARINKOVIC, Plaintiff, 14 15 16 Case No. 23-cv-01279-BAS-JLB ORDER: v. (1) DENYING MOTION TO SEAL IFP APPLICATION; AND KIMBERLY P. COCKERHAM, Defendant. 17 (2) DENYING APPLICATION TO PROCEED IFP 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 MELVIN MARINKOVIC, Case No. 23-cv-01280-BAS-JLB Plaintiff, ORDER: v. (1) DENYING MOTION TO SEAL IFP APPLICATION; AND MARIA DANILYCHEV, Defendant. (1) DENYING APPLICATION TO PROCEED IFP 26 27 28 -1- 23cv1079 | 23cv1280 1 These cases are just two of many lawsuits filed by self-represented Plaintiff Melvin 2 Marinkovic. In both cases, Plaintiff moves to proceed In Forma Pauperis (“IFP”)— 3 without paying the filing fee. Plaintiff also moves to seal his IFP Applications. 4 The Court addressed the same requests in one of Plaintiff’s other matters— 5 Marinkovic v. Liberty Mutual Holding Co., Case No. 23-cv-1084-BAS-JLB. After the 6 Court denied Plaintiff’s requests, he filed an appeal to the Ninth Circuit. The Ninth Circuit 7 then dismissed his appeal because it was not substantial enough to warrant further review. 8 For the following reasons, the Court reaches the same conclusions in these cases and 9 10 denies Plaintiff’s Motions to Seal and his Applications to Proceed IFP. I. Motions to Seal 11 Alongside each of Plaintiff’s IFP Applications, he submits a motion to seal that 12 application on the ground it contains information concerning his finances, which he wants 13 to protect from public view. Although only several paragraphs of the Motions to Seal 14 contain general information concerning Plaintiff’s finances, they, too, were filed under 15 seal. As explained in the Court’s decision in Case No. 23-cv-1084, Plaintiff’s financial 16 information is not related to the merits of the case. 17 demonstrate is that “good cause” exists to seal his IFP Applications. See Ctr. for Auto 18 Safety Chrysler Grp., LLC , 809 F.3d 1092, 1096–98, 1102 (9th Cir. 2016). However, 19 Because Plaintiff does not provide reasons why his basic financial information—proffered 20 for the purpose of obtaining public funding for his litigation expenses—should be shielded 21 from public view, his Motions to Seal the IFP Applications are denied. 22 II. Therefore, all Plaintiff must Motions to Proceed IFP 23 All parties instituting any civil action, suit, or proceeding in a district court of the 24 United States, except an application for writ of habeas corpus, must pay a filing fee. See 25 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). The action may proceed despite a plaintiff’s failure to prepay the 26 entire fee only if he is granted IFP status pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). See Andrews v. 27 Cervantes, 493 F.3d 1047, 1051 (9th Cir. 2007); Rodriguez v. Cook, 169 F.3d 1176, 1177 28 (9th Cir. 1999). -2- 23cv1079 | 23cv1280 1 Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915, indigency is the benchmark for whether a plaintiff may 2 proceed IFP. The determination of indigency falls within the district court’s sound 3 discretion. See Cal. Men’s Colony v. Rowland, 939 F.2d 854, 858 (9th Cir. 1991) (holding 4 that “[s]ection 1915 typically requires the reviewing court to exercise its sound discretion 5 in determining whether the affiant has satisfied the statute’s requirement on indigency”), 6 rev’d on other grounds, 506 U.S. 194 (1993). A party need not be completely destitute to 7 satisfy the IFP indigency threshold. See Adkins v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 335 8 U.S. 331, 339–40. To qualify for IFP status, “an affidavit is sufficient which states that 9 one cannot because of his poverty pay or give security for costs . . . and still be able to 10 provide himself and the dependents with the necessities of life.” Adkins, 335 U.S. at 339. 11 However, “care must be employed to assure that federal funds are not squandered to 12 underwrite, at public expense, . . . the remonstrances of a suitor who is financially able, in 13 whole or in material part, to pull his own oar.” Temple v. Ellerthorpe, 586 F. Supp. 848, 14 850 (D.R.I. 1984). District courts, therefore, tend to reject IFP applications where the 15 applicant can pay the filing fee with acceptable sacrifice to other expenses. See Skyler v. 16 Saul, No. 19-CV-1581-NLS, 2019 WL 4039650, at *3 (S.D. Cal. Aug. 27, 2019). 17 Plaintiff attests that he has not earned any income over the past year through 18 employment, property ownership, interest and dividends, gifts, alimony, or child support, 19 and that he does not expect to earn any income from those sources in the foreseeable future. 20 However, his IFP Application in Case No. 23-cv-1279 is incomplete and missing the 21 remaining pages. Hence, this IFP Application is denied. 22 Plaintiff’s IFP Application in Case No. 23-cv-1280 includes the missing pages, but 23 it is likewise insufficient. For example, Plaintiff does not specify any retirement or 24 disability income he receives. The Court is troubled, however, because his Motions to Seal 25 indicate that he receives a pension. At the same time, Plaintiff’s IFP Application states he 26 receives no financial support whatsoever yet survives while incurring at least $990 in 27 expenses per month. Overall, Plaintiff fails to “provide sufficient credible support that [he] 28 is unable to afford the costs of this litigation.” See, e.g., Adeyinka v. Walmart, No. 3:23-3- 23cv1079 | 23cv1280 1 CV-393-JR, 2023 WL 3027318, at *1 (D. Or. Apr. 11, 2023). Therefore, the Court likewise 2 denies the IFP Application in Case No. 23-cv-1280. 3 III. Conclusion 4 In sum, the Court: 5 1. DENIES Plaintiff’s Motions to Seal his IFP Applications. 6 2. DENIES WITHOUT PREJUDICE Plaintiff’s IFP Applications. 7 3. DIRECTS the Clerk to file on the docket of each respective case 8 (1) Plaintiff’s Motion to Seal his IFP Application, and (2) the IFP Application 9 itself. 10 4. ORDERS that Plaintiff must pay the filing fee for each case or submit 11 adequate proof of his inability to do so no later than May 30, 2024. Plaintiff 12 is warned that if he fails to do so, the Court will dismiss these actions. 13 Plaintiff is also reminded that any IFP Application must be signed under 14 penalty of perjury and address all his assets and sources of money. See 28 15 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1); see also Civ. L.R. 3.2(a). 16 IT IS SO ORDERED. 17 18 DATED: May 9, 2024 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -4- 23cv1079 | 23cv1280

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?