Howard v. Commissioner of Social Security
ORDER denying plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis; plaintiff must submit $400 filing fee within 28 days or action will be dismissed; signed by Chief Judge Paul L. Maloney (Chief Judge Paul L. Maloney, acr)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
KRISTA ANN HOWARD,
Case No. 1:14-cv-469
Hon. Paul L. Maloney
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
ORDER DENYING APPLICATION FOR IN FORMA PAUPERIS STATUS
Plaintiff has submitted a pro se Social Security appeal in this Court but has failed to
pay the $400.00 filing fee. This matter is now before the Court on plaintiff’s affidavit of financial
status, which is construed as an application to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915 (docket no. 2). Plaintiff’s affidavit discloses that she is married, unemployed, and has monthly
household expenses in the amount of $2,183.00.1 Plaintiff, however, has not provided specific
information regarding monthly household income. Rather, she has reported gross annual income
from property located at 323 Surby Avenue, Battle Creek, Michigan, in the amount of $5,779.71 and
an undisclosed amount of unemployment compensation paid to Agnew Howard (presumably her
husband) during December 2013, January 2014, March 2014 and part of April 2014. Plaintiff’s
assets include over $7,000.00 of cash in a credit union and a bank, a small amount of cash on hand,
$30,000.00 of equity in her residence, and two vehicles owned by Agnew Howard which are paid
off and worth $20,000.00.
Plaintiff’s monthly expenses include $155.00 for auto insurance. Based on the affidavit, this
expense is approximately 1/12th of an annual payment of $1,863.00, which was due on May 1, 2014.
The filing fee for a civil action is $400.00. The court should only grant leave to
proceed in forma pauperis when it reasonably appears that paying the cost of this filing fee would
impose an undue financial hardship. See Prows v. Kastner 842 F.2d 138, 140 (5th Cir. 1988). In
light of plaintiff’s income, assets and financial obligations as demonstrated in the affidavit, it does
not appear that the filing fee would be beyond her means or impose an undue hardship upon her.
Accordingly, plaintiff’s application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (docket no. 2) is
DENIED. Plaintiff is informed that she must submit the $400.00 filing fee within 28 days of the
date of this order or the action will be dismissed.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Date: May 21, 2014
/s/ Paul L. Maloney
Paul L. Maloney
Chief United States District Judge
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