Norman v. Titlemax Holdings, LLC
ORDER to respond re 2 MOTION for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis filed by Wayne H. Norman. (Compliance due by 4/6/2017.) Signed by Magistrate Judge G. R. Smith on 3/23/17. (jlm)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
WAYNE H. NORMAN,
TITLEMAX HOLDINGS, LLC.,
Proceeding pro se, Wayne H. Norman brings this Telephone
Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C. § 227) case against Titlemax
Holdings, LLC, for “negligently, knowingly, and/or willfully contacting
Plaintiff on his cellular telephone without his prior express consent within
the meaning of the TCPA.” Doc. 1 at 1. He seeks actual and statutory
damages. Id . at 2.
He also seeks leave to file this case in forma pauperis (IFP). Doc. 2.
Norman, who lists a non-prison address, says he receives $675/month in
unemployment compensation and received a $1500 payment “in
Id. at 1. He claims “$0.00” in savings,
ownership of a “1999 Toyota Corolla,” no dependents, no debts, and no
monthly operating expenses like rent, utilities, or food.
Id . at 2.
Wary of such indigency claims and cognizant of how easily one may
consume a public resource with no financial skin in the game, 1 this Court
demands supplemental information from dubious IFP movants.
See, e.g. ,
Kareem v. Home Source Rental , 986 F. Supp. 2d 1345, 1346-48 (S.D. Ga.
2013); Robbins v. Universal Music Group , 2013 WL 1146865 at * 1 (S.D.
Ga. Mar. 19, 2013). 2
Given the totality of the circumstances, it will do likewise here. 3
“[A] litigant whose filing fees and court costs are assumed by the public . . . lacks an
economic incentive to refrain from filing frivolous, malicious, or repetitive lawsuits.”
Neitzke v. Williams , 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989). Courts thus deploy appropriate
scrutiny. See Hobby v. Beneficial Mortg. Co. of Va ., 2005 WL 5409003 at *7 (E.D. Va.
June 3, 2005) (debtor denied IFP status where, although she was unable to find
employment as a substitute teacher, she had not shown she is unable to work and earn
income in other ways); In re Fromal, 151 B.R. 733, 735 (E.D. Va. 1993) (denying IFP
application where debtor was licensed attorney and accountant and she offered no
reason why she cannot find employment), cited in In re Zow , 2013 WL 1405533 at * 2
(Bkrtcy. S.D. Ga. Mar. 4, 2013) (denying IFP to “highly educated” bankruptcy debtor
who, inter alia, had “not shown he is physically unable to work or earn income in other
ways.”); Nixon v. United Parcel Serv. , 2013 WL 1364107 at *1-2 (M.D. Ga. Apr. 3,
2013) (court examined income and expenses on long-form IFP affidavit and
determined that plaintiff in fact had the ability to pay the court’s filing fee).
See also Lister v. Dep’t of Treasury , 408 F.3d 1309, 1313 (10th Cir. 2005) (court did
not abuse its discretion by denying IFP status to Social Security benefits claimant
seeking judicial review of Commissioner's benefits denial; claimant, after having been
specifically instructed on how to establish IFP status, failed to fill out proper forms or
otherwise provide court with requisite financial information); Mullins v. Barnhart,
2010 WL 1643581 at * 1 (D. Kan. Mar, 30, 2010) (denying, after scrutinizing IFP
affidavit’s financial data, leave to proceed IFP on financial ability grounds).
Two important points must be underscored. First, proceeding IFP is a privilege,
not an entitlement. See Rowland v. Cal. Men's Colony, Unit II Men’s Advisory
Therefore, within 14 days from the date this Order is filed, Norman shall
disclose to the Court the following information:
What he spends each month -- broken down by category -- for
basic living expenses such as food, clothing, shelter, and
utilities, and the dollar value of any other (beyond
unemployment compensation) public or private assistance he
Whether he possesses a cellular telephone, TV set, and any
home electronics equipment (include estimated value and
related carrying expenses, such as carrier and subscription
Whether he anticipates any future income within the next
A list of any other cases showing an indigency-based, filing fee
reduction or waiver granted by any other court (include the
full case name, case number and the name of the court
Answering these points will better illuminate plaintiff’s true
financial condition. In that regard, he must declare the facts he pleads to
be true under penalty of perjury. If he does not use a preprinted IFP
Council , 506 U.S. 194, 198 (1993). And second, courts have discretion to afford
litigants IFP status; it’s not automatic. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1) (courts “ may authorize
the commencement” of IFP actions) (emphasis added); Denton v. Hernandez , 504 U.S.
25, 31 (1992); see also Marceaux v. Democratic Party , 79 F. App’x 185, 186 (6th Cir.
2003) (no abuse of discretion when court determined plaintiff could afford to pay the
filing fee without undue hardship because he has no room and board expenses, owns a
car, and spends the $250.00 earned each month selling plasma on completely
discretionary items); Lee v. McDonald's Corp ., 231 F.3d 456, 458 (8th Cir. 2000) (the
decision of whether to grant or deny IFP status under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 is
form to respond (hence, if he uses a blank sheet of paper), he must insert
this above his signature: “I declare under penalty of perjury under the
laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed on (date).” 28 U.S.C. § 1746(1). 4 The Clerk is DIRECTED to
serve with this Order a blank IFP form for Norman’s convenience.
Failure to comply with this directive will result in a recommendation of
See Kareem v. Home Source Rental , 2014 WL 24347 at *1
(S.D. Ga. Jan. 2, 2014).
SO ORDERED , this 23rd day of March, 2017.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE ILJDGE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
This Court does not tolerate perjury in any form. Colony Ins. Co. v. 9400
Abercorn, LLC , 866 F. Supp. 2d 1376, 1378 n. 2 (S.D. Ga. 2012).
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?