SHOCKLEY v. BARBEE et al
ORDER DENYING 48 Motion for Leave to Appeal in forma pauperis. Ordered by US DISTRICT JUDGE MARC THOMAS TREADWELL on 9/27/2017. (tlh)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
ROBERT LEE SHOCKLEY, JR.,
JIMMY BARBEE, et al.,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:15-CV-452 (MTT)
Plaintiff Robert Lee Shockley, Jr. has filed an application to appeal in forma
pauperis. Doc. 48. Shockley seeks to appeal the judgement in favor of the Defendants
entered on August 21, 2017. Doc. 46. Applications to appeal in forma pauperis are
governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1915 and Fed. R. App. P. 24. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) provides
(1) . . . [A]ny court of the United States may authorize the commencement,
prosecution or defense of any suit, action or proceeding, civil or criminal,
or appeal therein, without prepayment of fees or security therefor, by a
person who submits an affidavit that includes a statement of all assets
such prisoner possesses1 that the person is unable to pay such fees or
give security therefor. Such affidavit shall state the nature of the action,
defense or appeal and affiant’s belief that the person is entitled to redress.
(3) An appeal may not be taken in forma pauperis if the trial court certifies
in writing that it is not taken in good faith.
Similarly, Fed. R. App. P. 24(a) provides:
(1) . . . [A] party to a district-court action who desires to appeal in forma
pauperis must file a motion in the district court. The party must attach an
“Despite the statute’s use of the phrase ‘prisoner possesses,’ the affidavit requirement applies to all
persons requesting leave to proceed IFP.” Martinez v. Kristi Kleaners, 364 F.3d 1305, 1306 n.1 (11th Cir.
2004) (citation omitted).
(A) shows . . . the party’s inability to pay or to give security for fees
(B) claims an entitlement to redress; and
(C) states the issues that the party intends to present on appeal.
(2) . . . If the district court denies the motion, it must state its reasons in
Thus, the Court must make two determinations when faced with an application to
proceed in forma pauperis. First, it must determine whether the plaintiff is financially
able to pay the filing fee required for an appeal. Next, the Court must determine if the
plaintiff has satisfied the good faith requirement.
Shockley submitted a financial affidavit accompanying his motion for leave to
appeal IFP. Doc. 48. Shockley asserts that he and his wife have had an average
monthly income over the past 12 months of $6,826 with which to provide for themselves
and their four children.2 Id. at 2-4. He also asserts that his wife has recently lost her
job, reducing their expected monthly income to $3,658 and causing them financial
hardship. However, his reduced expected income, amounting to $43,896 annually, still
substantially exceeds the poverty level for a family of six, which is $32,960. Annual
Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines, 82 Fed. Reg. 8831-03 (January 26, 2017). As
such, the Court cannot find that Shockley is financially unable to pay the filing fee for an
appeal, and, thus, the Court need not determine whether Shockley satisfied the good
faith requirement. Cf. Martinez v. Kristi Kleaners, Inc., 364 F.3d 1305, 1307-08 (11th
A court may consider a spouse’s income in determining whether a plaintiff can pay for the court fees and
costs and still provide necessities for himself and his dependents. See, e.g., Williams v. Spencer, 455 F.
Supp. 205, 208-09 (D. Md. 1978) (citations omitted).
Consequently, Shockley’s application to appeal IFP (Doc. 48) is DENIED. If
Shockley wishes to proceed with his appeal, he must pay the entire $505 appellate filing
SO ORDERED, this 27th day of September, 2017.
S/ Marc T. Treadwell
MARC T. TREADWELL, JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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