Kina v. Kansas, State of, Department for Children and Families
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting 4 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis. Signed by Magistrate Judge Kenneth G. Gale on 4/28/21. (df)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
SEIN F. KINA,
KANSAS DEPARTMENT FOR
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES,
Case No. 21-4025-JWB-KGG
MEMORANDUM & ORDER GRANTING
MOTION TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF FEES
In conjunction with her federal court Complaint alleging workplace
discrimination (Doc. 1), Plaintiff Sein F. Kina has filed a Motion to Proceed
Without Prepayment of Fees (“IFP application,” Doc. 4, sealed) with a supporting
financial affidavit. After review of Plaintiff’s motion, the Court GRANTS the IFP
Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), a federal court may authorize commencement of
an action without prepayment of fees, costs, etc., by a person who lacks financial
means. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). “Proceeding in forma pauperis in a civil case ‘is a
privilege, not a right – fundamental or otherwise.’” Barnett v. Northwest School,
No. 00-2499, 2000 WL 1909625, at *1 (D. Kan. Dec. 26, 2000) (quoting White v.
Colorado, 157 F.3d 1226, 1233 (10th Cir. 1998)). The decision to grant or deny in
forma pauperis status lies within the sound discretion of the court. Cabrera v.
Horgas, No. 98-4231, 1999 WL 241783, at *1 (10th Cir. Apr. 23, 1999).
There is a liberal policy toward permitting proceedings in forma pauperis
when necessary to ensure that the courts are available to all citizens, not just those
who can afford to pay. See generally, Yellen v. Cooper, 828 F.2d 1471 (10th Cir.
1987). In construing the application and affidavit, courts generally seek to
compare an applicant’s monthly expenses to monthly income. See Patillo v. N.
Am. Van Lines, Inc., No. 02-2162, 2002 WL 1162684, at *1 (D.Kan. Apr. 15,
2002); Webb v. Cessna Aircraft, No. 00-2229, 2000 WL 1025575, at *1 (D.Kan.
July 17, 2000) (denying motion because “Plaintiff is employed, with monthly
income exceeding her monthly expenses by approximately $600.00”).
In the supporting financial affidavit, Plaintiff indicates she is 45 years old
and divorced with one dependent.1 (Doc. 3-1, sealed, at 1-2.) She indicates she is
unemployed and lists prior employment with Defendant earning a notable hourly
Plaintiff lists two dependents, but one is indicated to be 18 years old and, as such, is not
a legal dependent.
wage. (Id., at 2-3.) Her only source of income over the past year has been
unemployment benefits. (Id., at 5-6.)
Plaintiff does not own real property but does own a modest automobile, with
no residual value, on which she makes a modest monthly payment. (Id., at 3-4.)
She lists a small amount of cash on hand. (Id., at 4.) She lists modest expenses,
including gas, electric, telephone, and car insurance. (Id., at 5.) She also indicates
a significant, though not unusually high, monthly rent payment. (Id.) She also
lists a very sizeable student debt. (Id.) She has previously filed for bankruptcy.
(Id., at 6.)
Considering the information contained in her financial affidavit, the Court
finds that Plaintiff has established that her access to the Court would be
significantly limited absent the ability to file this action without payment of fees
and costs. The Court thus GRANTS Plaintiff’s request to proceed in forma
pauperis. (Doc. 4, sealed.)
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion for IFP status (Doc.
4) is GRANTED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated at Wichita, Kansas, on this 28th day of April, 2021.
S/ KENNETH G. GALE
KENNETH G. GALE
United States Magistrate Judge
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