Walker v. Chapdelaine et al
ORDER denying 8 MOTION for Reconsideration, 9 MOTION for Judgment on the Pleadings, and 10 MOTION for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis; denying as moot 11 MOTION to Advance. Signed by Judge Stefan R. Underhill on 01/09/2017. (Jamieson, K)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
No. 3:16-cv-01404 (SRU)
WARDEN CHAPDELAINE, et al.,
RULING AND ORDER
The plaintiff, Darnell Walker, is an inmate currently incarcerated at the MacDougallWalker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Connecticut. On September 12, 2016, I vacated a
prior order granting Walker’s application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis because he had
included inaccurate statements in the application pertaining to his income during the twelvemonth period prior to filing this action. See Order, Doc. No. 7 (vacating Order, Doc. No. 6).
Specifically, I noted that the ledger statement from Walker’s prisoner account for the period of
February 10, 2016 to August 10, 2016 reflected deposits to the account of $50.00 or more at least
once a month beginning on March 24, 2016. See id. at 2 (discussing Tr. Account Statement, Doc.
No. 2-1). In addition, on January 13, 2016, Walker reached an agreement with the defendants in
four cases filed in this court to settle those cases for a sum of $2,800.00. See Settlement
Agreement, Walker v. Quiros, Case No. 3:11-cv-00082, Doc. No. 124. Walker neglected to list
any of the deposits to his account or to mention the settlement agreement or the amount due to
him pursuant to that agreement in his application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
Because Walker had not demonstrated that he was unable to pay the $400.00 filing fee, in
my September 12, 2016 order, I denied the application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis
and directed Walker to pay the filing fee. In response, Walker has filed a declaration, a motion
for judgment on the pleadings and a new motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
It is well settled that the decision to proceed in forma pauperis in civil cases is committed
to the sound discretion of the district court. See Rowland v. Cal. Men’s Colony, Unit II Men’s
Advisory Council, 506 U.S. 194, 217–18 (1993); Fridman v. City of New York, 195 F. Supp. 2d
534, 536 (S.D.N.Y. 2002). A litigant need not be absolutely destitute in order to qualify for in
forma pauperis status. The court considers whether the burden of paying the fees for filing and
service would hamper the litigant’s ability to obtain the necessities of life or force him to
abandon the action. See Adkins v. E.I. Dupont de Nemours & Co., 335 U.S. 331, 339–40 (1948);
Potnick v. E. State Hosp., 701 F.2d 243, 244 (2d Cir. 1983).
The Clerk has docketed Walker’s declaration as a motion for reconsideration. Doc. No. 8.
Walker’s motion for judgment on the pleadings also seeks reconsideration of my order denying
the application to proceed in forma pauperis. See Doc. No. 9. In addition, Walker has filed a new
motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Doc. No. 10.
In his declaration, Walker explains that he only received $300.00 of the $2,800.00
settlement amount. See Decl., Doc. No. 8, at 2. He asserts that the rest of the settlement amount
was signed over to his brother, Thomas Walker, to pay off debts that he owed to his brother. See
id. He does not attach any evidence of this transaction and fails to explain why he did not list
the $300.00 from the settlement agreement on his application to proceed in forma pauperis.
Walker acknowledges that he in fact had received monetary gifts from his sister and
mother during the twelve-month period prior to filing this action. See id. He states that he is sorry
for the misunderstanding. Id.
In the motion for judgment on the pleadings, Walker concedes that he does receive
$75.00 to $100.00 each month from relatives. See Mot. J. Pleadings, Doc. No. 9, at 2. He does
not explain, however, why he neglected to mention these monetary gifts in his application to
proceed in forma pauperis and instead falsely stated that he had received no money as gifts or
from another source during the twelve months preceding the filing of the action. Cf. Mot. for
Leave Proc. In Forma Pauperis, Doc. No. 2, at 1–3.
Walker has pointed to no information that I overlooked in denying his original
application to proceed in forma pauperis. Thus, I deny Walker’s motions for reconsideration.
Although Walker filed a new application to proceed in forma pauperis, he did not use the
Prisoner’s Application form. See Mot. for Leave Proc. In Forma Pauperis, Doc. No. 10. Nor did
Walker attach the necessary six-month ledger sheet or the prisoner authorization form, both of
which are required if a plaintiff is an inmate seeking leave to proceed in forma pauperis. See id.
Accordingly, I deny the new application to proceed in forma pauperis.
The Declaration [Doc. No. 8], which the Clerk has docketed as a motion for
reconsideration; the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [Doc. No. 9]; and the new
Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis [Doc. No. 10] are DENIED. The Motion to Advance
[Doc. No. 11] is DENIED as moot. Because Walker has not paid the filing fee, the case is
DISMISSED without prejudice. The Clerk shall close the case.
If Walker wishes to proceed in this matter, he may file a motion to reopen accompanied
by a new Prisoner Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis in a Civil Rights Action. The
motion to reopen must show cause why Walker neglected to list the amounts that he had received
during the twelve months prior to filing this action in the prior application to proceed in forma
pauperis. The new prisoner application to proceed in forma pauperis must accurately list the
amounts of money Walker has received from any source during the past twelve months, and must
include a ledger sheet showing at least the last six months of transactions in his prisoner account.
So ordered this 9th day of January 2017 at Bridgeport, Connecticut.
/s/ STEFAN R. UNDERHILL
Stefan R. Underhill
United States District Judge
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