Christian v. Commerce Bank N.A. et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion for "exemption from pacer fees and to receive e-mail filings" is DENIED. (Doc. No. 25.) IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal is GRANTED. (Doc. No. 27.) Signed by District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig on 5/29/2014. (NCL)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
FRED CHRISTIAN, d/b/a Sparkle
Quality Cleaners and Laundry,
COMMERCE BANK, N.A., et al.,
Case No. 4:14CV00201 AGF
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff Fred Christian, proceeding pro se, brings this action alleging
discriminatory denial of a business loan. Now before the Court are Plaintiff’s motions
for “exemption from pacer fees and to receive e-mail filings” and to proceed in forma
pauperis on appeal.
The Court addressed the issue raised in Plaintiff’s motion for “exemption from
pacer fees and to receive e-mail filings,” in its April 18, 2014 Order and has been sending
all filings to the e-mail address provided by Plaintiff. In addition, Plaintiff receives up to
$15.00 per month in pacer fees without payment. To the extent that Plaintiff now seeks
relief on appeal from the rules and practices of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals with
respect to this issue, the Court lacks authority to exempt Plaintiff from the operation of
those rules and practices. See Doc. No. 24; see also www.ca8.uscourts.gov/filing without
an attorney (informing pro se parties of the policies related to use of the Eighth Circuit’s
Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system).
Turning to Plaintiff’s motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal, the
record indicates that on May 5, 2014, Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal from the Court’s
April 18, 2014 Order. In that Order the Court granted Plaintiff’s motions for jury trial, to
proceed in forma pauperis, and for e-mail delivery of the filings in the case. In addition,
the Court denied without prejudice Plaintiff’s motions for appointment of counsel and to
compel discovery responses.
In ruling on a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal, the district
court considers not only the financial information presented but also whether the appeal
is taken in good faith. See 28 U.S.C. 1915(a)(3) (stating that “[a]n appeal may not be
taken in forma pauperis if the trial court certifies in writing that it is not taken in good
faith”). Here the primary consideration with respect to the good faith nature of this
appeal is whether it is taken from a final, appealable order as defined in 28 U.S.C. §§
1291 & 1292(a) and refined by the collateral order doctrine as set forth in Cohen v.
Beneficial Indus. Loan Corp., 337 U.S. 541, (1949).
It is unclear which of the rulings in the April 18, 2014 Order Plaintiff intends to
appeal, but in this Circuit it appears that the portion of the Order denying the motion for
appointment of counsel is immediately appealable. See Ward v. Smith, 721 F.3d 940, 942
(8th Cir. 2013) (noting that the denial of a motion for appointment of counsel is
immediately appealable in a case alleging civil rights violations); Slaughter v. City of
Maplewood, 731 F.2d 587, 588-89 (8th Cir. 1984) (same with respect to claims under
Title VII). Therefore, the Court finds no impediment to the appeal or reason to question
that it is taken in good faith.
In addition, the Court has reviewed the financial affidavit submitted in support of
Plaintiff’s motion and finds that his level of income qualifies him to proceed in forma
pauperis on appeal. See Doc. No. 28.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion for “exemption from pacer
fees and to receive e-mail filings” is DENIED. (Doc. No. 25.)
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis on appeal is GRANTED. (Doc. No. 27.)
AUDREY G. FLEISSIG
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 29th day of May, 2014.
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