Munt v. Larson et al
ORDER granting 199 Application on Proceed In Forma Pauperis on Appeal. (Written Opinion) Signed by Judge Susan Richard Nelson on 10/16/2017. (SMD)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
JOEL MARVIN MUNT,
Case No. 15-CV-0582 (SRN/SER)
NANETTE LARSON; KATHY REID;
SHELLY MONIO; KIM EBELING;
DOCTORS #1-6; HEALTH SERVICES
WORKERS #1-6, OPTICIANS #1-4; and RN
Plaintiff Joel Marvin Munt requests in forma pauperis (“IFP”) status on appeal from the
dismissal of this action. See ECF No. 199. Because Munt is a prisoner, his IFP application is
subject to the requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). This statute provides that:
(1) Notwithstanding subsection (a), if a prisoner brings a civil
action or files an appeal in forma pauperis, the prisoner shall be
required to pay the full amount of a filing fee. The court shall
assess and, when funds exist, collect, as a partial payment of any
court fees required by law, an initial partial filing fee of 20 percent
of the greater of —
(A) the average monthly deposits to the prisoner’s account; or
(B) the average monthly balance in the prisoner’s
account for the 6-month period immediately
preceding the filing of the complaint or notice of
(2) After payment of the initial partial filing fee, the prisoner shall
be required to make monthly payments of 20 percent of the
preceding month’s income credited to the prisoner’s account. The
agency having custody of the prisoner shall forward payments
from the prisoner’s account to the clerk of the court each time the
amount in the account exceeds $10 until the filing fees are paid.
(3) In no event shall the filing fee collected exceed the amount of
fees permitted by statute for the commencement of a civil action or
appeal of a civil action . . . .
(4) In no event shall a prisoner be prohibited from bringing a civil
action or appealing a civil or criminal judgment for the reason that
the prisoner has no assets and no means by which to pay the initial
partial filing fee.
According to this statute — which is part of the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995
(“PLRA”) — prisoners who are granted IFP status on appeal are not excused from paying the
appellate filing fee altogether, as is the case for non-prisoner IFP appellants. Instead, a prisoner
who is granted IFP status is merely granted permission to pay the appellate filing fee in
installments, rather than paying the entire amount in advance. See Henderson v. Norris, 129
F.3d 481, 484-85 (8th Cir. 1997); cf. Ashley v. Dilworth, 147 F.3d 715, 716 (8th Cir. 1998) (“The
purpose of the [PLRA] was to require all prisoner-litigants to pay filing fees in full, with the only
issue being whether the inmate pays the entire filing fee at the initiation of the proceeding or in
installments over a period of time.”). Section 1915(b)(1) requires the prisoner IFP applicant to
pay an initial partial filing fee at the outset of the appeal, and § 1915(b)(2) requires that the
remaining balance be paid in installments through regular deductions from the prisoner’s trust
In this case, the “Certificate” section of Munt’s IFP application provides information
derived from his inmate trust account — as required by § 1915(a)(2) — and shows that the
amount of his average monthly deposits during the preceding six-month period was $138.67,
while his average daily balance during the same period was $68.16. See ECF No. 199 at 6.
Because the average monthly deposits amount exceeds the average balance, Munt’s initial partial
filing fee for his appeal, under the formula prescribed by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1), will be
20 percent of the average monthly deposits, or $27.73. This initial partial filing fee is due
immediately. If Munt elects to pursue his appeal, the remaining balance of the $505.00 appellate
filing fee will have to be paid in later installments, and prison officials will be authorized to
deduct funds from Munt’s trust account, as provided by § 1915(b)(2). Munt will be required to
pay this filing fee regardless of the outcome of his appeal.
Finally, although the Court remains satisfied that this action was properly dismissed,
Munt’s current appeal is not “frivolous” as that term has been defined by the Supreme Court.
Accordingly, Munt’s appeal is found to be taken “in good faith” for purposes 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(3) and Fed. R. App. P. 24(a)(3), and his IFP application will be granted — subject to
his payment of the $27.73 initial partial filing fee, as discussed above.
Based on the foregoing, and on all of the files, records, and proceedings herein, IT IS
HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
Plaintiff Joel Marvin Munt’s initial partial filing fee for the appeal in this matter is
calculated to be $27.73. That amount is due immediately.
The remaining balance of the $505.00 filing fee for Munt’s appeal must be paid in
the manner prescribed by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
Subject to these requirements, Munt’s application to proceed in forma pauperis
on appeal [ECF No. 199] is GRANTED.
Dated: October 16, 2017
s/Susan Richard Nelson
SUSAN RICHARD NELSON
United States District Judge
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