Puckett v. Wieland
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting 3 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis. Signed by Magistrate Judge Kenneth G. Gale on 4/13/17. Mailed to pro se party Casey Puckett by regular mail. (df)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
Case No. 17-1072-JTM-KGG
MEMORANDUM & ORDER ON
MOTION TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF FEES
Plaintiff’s federal court Complaint brings various claims against Defendant
deriving from Plaintiff’s allegation that Defendant “is demanding a price fix on the
product ‘bankruptcy petition preparing’,” which Plaintiff contends violates federal
law and his Constitutional rights. (Doc. 3, sealed, at 1; see generally, Doc. 1.) In
conjunction with his federal court Complaint, Plaintiff has filed a Motion to
Proceed Without Prepayment of Fees (IFP Application, Doc. 3, sealed), with an
accompanying Affidavit of Financial Status (Doc. 3-1, sealed). Having reviewed
Plaintiff’s motion, as well as his financial affidavit and Complaint, the Court
GRANTS Plaintiff’s motion for IFP status.
Motion to Proceed IFP.
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). In so doing, the court considers the affidavit of
financial status included with the application. See id.
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 his supporting financial affidavit, Plaintiff indicates he is 45 years old and
single, with one dependent for whom he provides a small amount of monthly
financial support. (Doc. 3-1, sealed, at 1-2.) Plaintiff is currently self-employed,
earning a modest income. (Id., at 2.) He lists no other sources of income. He
owns no real property, but does own modest automobile for which me makes
monthly payments. (Id., at 3-4.) He lists typical monthly expenses, including rent,
groceries, gas, insurance, and telephone. (Id., at 5.) He also lists monthly business
expenses. (Id.) He has previously filed for bankruptcy. (Id., at 6.)
Considering all of the information contained in the financial affidavit, the
Court finds that Plaintiff has established that his access to the Court would be
significantly limited absent the ability to file this action without payment of fees
and costs. The Court GRANTS Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion for IFP status
(Doc. 3) is GRANTED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated at Wichita, Kansas, on this 13th day of April, 2017.
S/ KENNETH G. GALE
KENNETH G. GALE
United States Magistrate Judge
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