LaForge v. Gets Down et al
ORDER GRANTING 7 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis. The Complaint is deemed filed on May 5, 2017. The Clerk shall created a new docket entry so reflecting. Service of the Complaint and Summons on Defendants is authorized. Signed by Judge Brian Morris on 5/9/2017. (Copy mailed to Mr. LaForge) (AMC)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
MICHAEL F. LAFORGE,
JANICE GETS DOWN, NATASHA S.
MORTON, LEROY NOT AFRAID,
SHEILA WILKENSON NOT
Pro se Plaintiff Michael F. LaForge has filed an amended application to
proceed in district court without prepaying fees or costs. (Doc. 7.) This application
contains his signature, as the Court ordered (Doc. 6) after reviewing United States
Magistrate Judge Timothy Cavan’s recommendation on LaForge’s original motion
The Court may permit indigent litigants to proceed in forma pauperis upon
completion of a proper affidavit of indigency. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). The Court
has broad discretion in determining whether a litigant may proceed in forma
pauperis. Weller v. Dickson, 314 F.2d 598, 600 (9th Cir. 1963).
A court can grant leave to proceed in forma pauperis if the applicant’s
affidavit sufficiently indicates that the affiant cannot pay court costs and still
provide the necessities of life for himself and his family. Adkins v. E.I. DuPont de
Nemours & Co., 335 U.S. 331, 339 (1948). A plaintiff need not be “absolutely
destitute" in order to proceed in forma pauperis. Id.
Mr. LaForge’s financial affidavit indicates modest income. (Doc. 7.)
Nevertheless, circumstances allow Plaintiff to file in forma pauperis. Accordingly,
the application is granted; the filing fee is waived.
When a plaintiff proceeds in forma pauperis, the Court must pre-screen the
complaint before allowing the plaintiff to serve it to ensure the claims are not
frivolous or malicious. The Court likewise considers whether the complaint fails to
state a claim, or seeks solely monetary relief from a defendant who is immune. See
28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A(b).
Here, Mr. LaForge alleges that Defendants, a number of Crow Tribal Court
officials, wrongfully entered judgment to remove his modular home from his trust
land. Taking the allegations in the Complaint as true, the Court finds Mr. LaForge
sufficiently alleges facts to merit service. Mr. LaForge may proceed with his case.
Based on the foregoing, the Court issues the following:
1. Mr. LaForge’s Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (Doc. 7) is
2. The Complaint is deemed filed on May 5, 2017. The Clerk shall create a
new docket entry so reflecting.
3. Service of the Complaint and Summons on Defendants is authorized.
DATED this 9th day of May, 2017.
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