SELVAM SIDDHAR v. PILLAI et al
OPINION. Signed by Judge Kevin McNulty on 3/23/2016. (ld, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
SWANIJI SELVAM SIDDHAR,
Civ. No. 16-0903 (KM) (JBC)
PACKYALEKSHMI PILLAI, et al.,
KEVIN MCNULTY, U.S.D.J.
Plaintiff is a federal prisoner proceeding pro se with a civil complaint. The filing fee for a
civil complaint is $400.00. If a prisoner-plaintiff is proceeding informa pauperis, the fee is
$350.00, subject to being paid in installments as described below.
A prisoner who seeks to bring a civil action inJörmapauperis 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.
19l5(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. 8 1.2(b)
(“Whenever a Federal, State, or local prisoner submits a civil rights complaint
shall also submit an affidavit setting forth infonnation 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 informa 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.
§ I 915(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 informapauperis unless he is in imminent danger of serious physical injury. See
In this case, plaintiff has not paid the $400.00 filing fee. While plaintiff has submitted an
application to proceed informa pauperis, his prisoner account statement has not been certified
by the appropriate prison official. Thus, it is insufficient and will be denied without prejudice.
Plaintiff states that the facility has advised him that they will not sign for these kinds of actions.
While this Court cannot rule out the possibility that plaintiff was unable to obtain signature of an
authorized prison official certifying his account, plaintiff must specify the names and titles of
authorized prison officials whom he approached with requests to certify his accounts, the dates
of these requests, and the reasons these authorized prison officials gave to plaintiff in connection
with their decisions to decline his requests. Upon being presented with plaintiffs certification to
that effect, this Court would be in the position to determine whether it should excuse plaintiffs
failure to obtain an authorized prison official’s signature or whether the Court should conduct an
additional inquiry into this matter. 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 informapauperis application.
DATED: March 23, 2016
United States District Judge
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