Cofer v. Commissioner of Social Security
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER, granting 3 First MOTION for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis filed by Donald G Cofer. Signed by Judge J. Phil Gilbert on 10/14/2020. (jdh)
Case 3:20-cv-00616-JPG-MAB Document 6 Filed 10/14/20 Page 1 of 2 Page ID #12
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
DONALD G. COFER,
Case No. 20-cv-616 JPG/MAB
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter comes before the Court on the plaintiff’s motion for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis (Doc. 3). A federal court may permit an indigent party to proceed without prepayment of fees. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Nevertheless, a court can deny a qualified plaintiff
leave to file in forma pauperis or can dismiss a case if the action is clearly frivolous or malicious.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i). The test for determining if an action is frivolous or without merit
is whether the plaintiff can make a rational argument on the law or facts in support of the claim.
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Corgain v. Miller, 708 F.2d 1241, 1247 (7th Cir.
1983). When assessing a motion to proceed in forma pauperis, a district court should inquire
into the merits of the plaintiff’s claims, and if the court finds them to be frivolous, it should deny
leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Lucien v. Roegner, 682 F.2d 625, 626 (7th Cir. 1982).
The Court is satisfied from plaintiff’s affidavit that the plaintiff is indigent. Furthermore,
the Court does not find anything in the file to indicate that this action is frivolous or malicious.
Therefore, the Court GRANTS the motion to proceed in forma pauperis without prepayment of
fees and costs (Doc. 3). The Court notes, however, that should it become apparent that the
action is frivolous or malicious at any time in the future, it may dismiss the case pursuant to 28
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U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i).
If the plaintiff wishes the United States Marshals Service to serve process in this case, the
Court DIRECTS the plaintiff to provide to the United States Marshals Service the summons
issued in this case, the appropriately completed USM-285 forms and sufficient copies of the
complaint for service.
The Court further DIRECTS the United States Marshal, upon receipt of the
aforementioned documents from the plaintiff and pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
4(c)(3), to serve a copy of the summons, complaint and this order upon the defendant
Commissioner of Social Security, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois
and the Attorney General of the United States, Washington, D.C., in the manner specified by
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(i)(1) & (2), as directed by the plaintiff. Costs of service shall
be borne by the United States.
This entire matter shall be REFERRED to a United States magistrate judge for
disposition, pursuant to Local Rule 72.2(b)(3) and 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), if all parties consent to
such a referral.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: October 14, 2020
s/J. Phil Gilbert
J. PHIL GILBERT
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
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