Neville v. McCaghren
ORDER instructing the plaintiff to file additional financial information within 14 days of the filing of this order re 2 MOTION for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis filed by Robert Neville. Signed by Magistrate Judge G. R. Smith on 5/19/17. (jrb)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
ELIZABETH C. MCCAGHREN,
Proceeding pro se , Robert Neville has filed another Complaint
alleging fraud and mismanagement of his mother’s estate by defendant
Elizabeth C. McCaghren, his half-sister. See doc. 1. The Court dismissed
without prejudice a previous lawsuit alleging substantially the same
facts. Compare id. , with Neville v. McCaghren , CV615-028, doc. 10 (S.D.
Ga. June 5, 2015) (Amended Complaint); see also Neville , CV615-028,
doc. 38 (S.D. Ga. May 20, 2016) (dismissal); id . doc. 52 (S.D. Ga. May 4,
2017) (imposing special handling instructions on his future filings); In re
Neville , MC617-001, doc. 3 (S.D. Ga. May 17, 2017) (authorizing filing of
the instant case). Neville seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP).
Doc. 2 at 9-10.
Neville’s IFP motion claims $723 in monthly social security
disability income. CV617-075, doc. 2 at 9. He also discloses that he has
$210.00 in cash, or in a checking or savings account. Id. He claims that
he has no other assets, and no other expenses, and more than $100,000
in student loans. Id. at 10. 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).
“[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
Given the totality of the circumstances, it will do likewise here. 2
Therefore, within 14 days from the date this Order is filed, Neville shall
disclose to the Court the following information:
Where he gets the money to pay for those expenses
(include all “off-the-books” income, whether in cash or inkind);
Whether he owns any means of transportation and, if he
does not, whether he has regular access to same, as owned
by another (including a rental company);
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
What he spends each month for basic living expenses such
as food, clothing, shelter, and utilities;
A list of any other cases showing an indigency-based, filing
fee reduction or waiver granted by any other court (include
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
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); 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 discretionary).
the full case name, case number and the name of the court
granting same); and
(7) Whether he is current on his student loan debt and, if so,
Answering these points will better illuminate Neville’s true
financial condition. In that regard, he must declare the facts he pleads to
be true under penalty of perjury. 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). 3 Failure to comply with this directive
will result in a recommendation of dismissal.
See Kareem v. Home
Source Rental , 2014 WL 24347 at * 1 (S.D. Ga. Jan. 2, 2014).
SO ORDERED, this 19th day of May, 2017.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE ILTDGE
To that end, this Court tolerates no lies. Moss v. Premiere Credit of North America,
LLC , CV411-123, doc. 54 (S.D. Ga. Mar. 6, 2013) (Eleventh Circuit Order: “Moss's
[IFP on appeal] motion is DENIED because her allegation of poverty appears to be
untrue in light of her financial affidavit and filings in the district court.”)
Furthermore, liars may be prosecuted. See United States v. Dickerson , CR608-36,
doc. 1 (S.D. Ga. Dec. 11, 2008) (§ 2255 movant indicted for perjury for knowingly
lying in his motion seeking collateral relief from his conviction); id ., doc. 47 (guilty
verdict), cited in Colony Ins. Co. v. 9400 Abercorn, LLC , 866 F. Supp. 2d 1376, 1378 n.
2 (S.D. Ga. 2012) (collecting sanction cases).
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