BELLAMY v. BONHAM et al
OPINION. Signed by Judge Robert B. Kugler on 1/27/2016. (bdk, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Civ. No. 15-8520 (RBK) (AMD)
SERGEANT M. BONHAM, et al.,
ROBERT B. KUGLER, U.S.D.J.
Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with his civil rights complaint filed pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The filing fee for a civil complaint is $400.00. If a prisoner-plaintiff is
proceeding in forma pauperis, the fee is $350.00, subject to being paid in installments as
A prisoner who seeks to bring a civil action in forma pauperis must submit an affidavit,
including a statement of all assets, which states that the prisoner is unable to pay the applicable
filing fee. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). The prisoner must also submit a certified copy of his
inmate trust fund account statement for the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of
his complaint. See id. § 1915(a)(2). The prisoner must obtain this statement from the appropriate
official of each prison at which he was or is confined. See id.; see also L.Civ.R. 81.2(b)
(“Whenever a Federal, State, or local prisoner submits a civil rights complaint . . . the prisoner
shall also submit an affidavit setting forth information which establishes that the prisoner is
unable to pay the fees and costs of the proceedings and shall further submit a certification signed
by an authorized officer of the institution certifying (1) the amount presently on deposit in the
prisoner’s prison account and, (2) the greatest amount on deposit in the prisoner’s prison account
during the six-month period prior to the date of the certification.”).
Even if a prisoner is granted in forma pauperis status, he must pay the full amount of the
filing fee of $350.00. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). In each month that the amount in the
prisoner’s account exceeds $10.00, the agency having custody of the prisoner shall assess, deduct
from the prisoner’s account, and forward to the Clerk of the Court, payment equal to 20 % of the
preceding month’s income credited to the prisoner’s account. See id. § 1915(b)(2). The
deductions will continue until the $350.00 filing fee is paid.
Even if the necessary fees are paid and the complaint is accepted for filing, the Court may
nevertheless immediately dismiss the case. The Court must review the complaint and dismiss it if
it finds that the action is: (1) frivolous or malicious; (2) fails to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted; or (3) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. See id. § 1915(e)(2)(B); see also id. § 1915A(b).
If the plaintiff has, on three or more prior occasions while incarcerated, brought an action
or appeal in a court that was dismissed on any of the grounds listed above, he cannot bring
another action in forma pauperis unless he is in imminent danger of serious physical injury. See
id. § 1915(g).
In this case, plaintiff has not paid the $400.00 filing fee. Furthermore, his application to
proceed in forma pauperis is incomplete. While plaintiff has attached his prison account
statement and a certification from a prison official, plaintiff has failed to attach an affidavit
showing that he is unable to pay the filing fee. Therefore, the application to proceed in forma
pauperis will be denied without prejudice. Accordingly, the Clerk will be ordered to
administratively close the case. Plaintiff may reopen this action, however, by either paying the
filing fee or submitting a complete in forma pauperis application.
Additionally, plaintiff has failed to sign his complaint. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
11(a) states that a party must personally sign the pleading if he is unrepresented. Furthermore, an
unsigned paper must be struck unless promptly corrected under Rule 11(a). Should plaintiff
choose to reopen this action by either paying the filing fee or submitting a complete application
to proceed in forma pauperis, he is instructed to also file a full all-inclusive complaint that
includes his signature or else the complaint that is on file with the Court will be struck pursuant
to Rule 11(a).
DATED: January 27, 2016
s/Robert B. Kugler
ROBERT B. KUGLER
United States District Judge
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