HOPKINS v. RIVERA et al
OPINION. Signed by Judge Noel L. Hillman on 2/27/17. (jbk, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
MS. RIVERA, et al.,
Civ. No. 17-779 (NLH)
Federal Correctional Institution
East: P.O. Box 2000
Fort Dix, NJ 08640
Plaintiff Pro se
HILLMAN, District Judge
Plaintiff Reginald Hopkins, an inmate confined at the
Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Dix, New Jersey at the
time of filing, seeks to bring this civil action in forma
pauperis, without prepayment of fees or security, asserting
claims pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S.
Pursuant to Local Civil Rule 54.3, the Clerk shall not be
required to enter any suit, file any paper, issue any process,
or render any other service for which a fee is prescribed,
unless the fee is paid in advance.
Under certain circumstances,
however, this Court may permit an indigent plaintiff to proceed
in forma pauperis.
The entire fee to be paid in advance of filing a civil
complaint is $400. That fee includes a filing fee of $350 plus
an administrative fee of $50, for a total of $400.
who is granted in forma pauperis status will, instead, be
assessed a filing fee of $350 and will not be responsible for
the $50 administrative fee.
A prisoner who is denied in forma
pauperis status must pay the full $400, including the $350
filing fee and the $50 administrative fee, before the complaint
will be filed.
Title 28 U.S.C. § 1915, establishes certain financial
requirements for prisoners who are attempting to bring a civil
action in forma pauperis.
Under § 1915, a prisoner seeking to
bring a civil action in forma pauperis must submit an affidavit,
including a statement of all assets and liabilities, which
states that the prisoner is unable to pay the fee. 28 U.S.C. §
The prisoner also must submit a certified copy of
his inmate trust fund account statement(s) for the six-month
period immediately preceding the filing of his complaint. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2).
The prisoner must obtain this certified
statement from the appropriate official of each correctional
facility at which he was or is confined during such six-month
If the prisoner is granted in forma pauperis status, the
prisoner must pay the full amount of the $350 filing fee, in
installments, as follows. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
In each month
that the amount in the prisoner’s account exceeds $10.00, until
the $350.00 filing fee is paid, the agency having custody of the
prisoner shall assess, deduct from the prisoner’s account, and
forward to the Clerk of the Court an installment payment equal
to 20% of the preceding month’s income credited to the
prisoner’s account. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
Plaintiff may not have known when he submitted his
Complaint that he must pay the filing fee, and that even if the
full filing fee, or any part of it, has been paid, the Court
must dismiss the case if it finds that the action: (1) is
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. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B) (in forma pauperis actions); see also 28 U.S.C. §
1915A (dismissal of actions in which prisoner seeks redress from
a governmental defendant); 42 U.S.C. § 1997e (dismissal of
prisoner actions brought with respect to prison conditions).
the Court dismisses the case for any of these reasons, § 1915
does not suspend installment payments of the filing fee or
permit the prisoner to get back the filing fee, or any part of
it, that has already been paid.
If the prisoner has, on three or more prior occasions while
incarcerated, brought in federal court an action or appeal that
was dismissed on the grounds that it was frivolous or malicious,
or that it failed to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, he cannot bring another action in forma pauperis unless
he is in imminent danger of serious physical injury. 28 U.S.C. §
In this action, Plaintiff did not submit a six month
Though he submitted a certification from a
prison official, he only submitted a summary of the activity in
his account for six months.
Without a copy of Plaintiff's trust
fund account statement which shows each individual transaction,
the Court is unable to determine whether Plaintiff meets the
requirements for in forma pauperis status.
See 28 U.S.C. §
In addition, the certified statement must cover the
six month period immediately preceding the filing of his
The account summary provided by Plaintiff is
only through September 19, 2016, and it appears that the
earliest Plaintiff could have handed his Complaint to a prison
official for filing is January 19, 2017.1
(Pl.’s Cover Ltr., ECF
For the reasons set forth above, the Clerk of the Court will
be ordered to administratively terminate this action, without
filing the Complaint or assessing a filing fee.2
be granted leave to apply to re-open within 45 days.
appropriate Order follows.
Dated: February 27, 2017
At Camden, New Jersey
s/ Noel L. Hillman
NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
In Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266 (1988), the United States Supreme
Court adopted the prisoner mailbox rule, providing that the date
on which a pro se prisoner transmits a notice of appeal to prison
authorities for mailing is considered the actual filing date. Id.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has extended the
prisoner mailbox rule to the filing of pro se prisoner complaints.
Bond v. VisionQuest, 410 F. App'x 510, 514 (3d Cir. 2011); Everett
v. Nort, 547 F. App'x 117, 120 n. 4 (3d Cir. 2013).
Such an administrative termination is not a “dismissal” for
purposes of the statute of limitations, and if the case is reopened pursuant to the terms of the accompanying Order, it is
not subject to the statute of limitations time bar if it was
originally submitted timely. See Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266
(1988) (prisoner mailbox rule); Papotto v. Hartford Life & Acc.
Ins. Co., 731 F.3d 265, 275-76 (3d Cir. 2013) (collecting cases
and explaining that a District Court retains jurisdiction over,
and can re-open, administratively closed cases).
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