SEARLES v. HOOPER
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER directing the Clerk to administratively terminate this case w/out filing the complaint or assessing a filing fee. Plaintiff is informed that administrative termination is not a dismissal for purposes of the statute of limitatio ns, and that if the case is reopened, it is not subject to the statute of limitations time bar if it was originally filed timely. The Clerk shall send Plaintiff the form entitled Affidavit of Poverty and Account Certification (Civil Rights)(DNJ Pr oSe 007 A(Rev. 5/13)) to be used by Plaintiff in any future application to proceed informa pauperis, and if Plaintiff wishes to reopen this case, he shall so notify the Court, in writing, within 30 days of the date of entry of this Order. Plainti ffs writing shall include either (1) a complete, signed informa pauperis application, including a proper certified six-month prison account statement, or (2) the $400 fee including the $350 filing fee plus the $50 administrative fee; etc. Signed by Judge Claire C. Cecchi on 6/21/16. (sr, ) (N/M)
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
STEVEN D. SEARLES,
Civil Action No. 16-298 1 (CCC)
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff Steven D. Searles, a prisoner currently confined under a work release program
located in Bridgeton, New Jersey, seeks to bring this civil action in forma pauperis, without
prepayment of fees or security, asserting claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Act”), which amends 28 U.S.C.
§ 1983. The Prison
§ 1915, establishes certain
financial requirements for prisoners who are attempting to bring a civil action informa pauperis.
Under the Act, a prisoner bringing a civil action informapauperis must submit an affidavit,
including a statement of all assets, which states the prisoner is unable to pay the fee. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(1). The prisoner also must submit a certified copy of his inmate trust fund account
statement for the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of his complaint.
§ 191 5(a)(2). The prisoner must obtain this statement from the appropriate official of each prison
at which he was or is confined. Id.
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. A prisoner who is granted
informapauperis status will, instead, be assessed a filing fee of $350 and will not be responsible
for the $50 administrative fee. Ifinformapauperis status is denied, the prisoner must pay the full
$400, including the $350 filing fee and the $50 administrative fee, before the complaint will be
If the prisoner is granted informapauperis status, the prisoner must pay the full amount of
the $350 filing fee as follows. Id.
§ 1915(b)(1). In each month that the amount in the prisoner’s
account exceeds $10.00, until the $350.00 filing fee is paid, the agency having custody of the
prisoner shall assess, deduct from the prisoner’s account, and forward to the Clerk of the Court,
payment equal to 20% of the preceding month’s income credited to the prisoner’s account. Id.
Plaintiff may not have known when he submitted his complaint that he must pay the filing
fee, and that even if the full filing fee, or any part of it, has been paid, the Court must dismiss the
case if it finds that the action is: (1) frivolous or malicious; (2) fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted; or (3) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
§ 191 5(e)(2)(B). If the Court dismisses the case for any of these reasons, the Act does
not permit the prisoner to get his filing fee back.
In this action, Plaintiff fails to submit a complete informa pauperis application as required
by 2$ U.S.C.
§ 19 15(a). Specifically, Plaintiff fails to submit a proper six-month prison account
statement. Although Plaintiff does submit a certified account statement, that statement was from
the South Woods State Prison, at which Plaintiff is no longer incarcerated. Indeed, the account
statement shows that the account was closed on April 22, 2016, (ECF No. 1-1 at 8), and Plaintiffs
current address provided to the Court is not the address of the South Woods State Prison; rather,
the address is the location of a work release program run by the Kintock Group.
http://ldntock.org/locations/bridgeton.html (last visited June 8, 2016); (ECF No. 1 at 3 (stating that
Plaintiffs current place of confinement is “Kintock 4— Bridgeton NJ”)). Given that the Complaint
is dated May 22, 2016, (ECF No. 1 at 7), this means the Court has no information about Plaintiffs
current prisoner account with the Kintock Group for the one-month period after the South Woods
State Prison account was closed. This does not satisfy the statutory requirement that Plaintiff must
submit a six-month statement for the period immediately preceding the filing of the Complaint.
IT IS therefore on this
ORDERED Plaintiffs request to proceed in forma pauperis is hereby DENIED
WITHOUT PREJUDICE; it is further
ORDERED the Clerk shall ADMINISTRATIVELY TERMINATE this case, without
filing the complaint or assessing a filing fee; Plaintiff is informed that administrative termination
is not a “dismissal” for purposes of the statute of limitations, and that if the case is reopened, it is
not subject to the statute of limitations time bar if it was originally filed timely, see Jenkins v.
Superintendent of Laurel Highlands, 705 F.3d 80, 84 n.2 (3d Cir. 2013) (describing prisoner
mailbox rule generally); Dasilva v. Sheriff’s Dep ‘t, 413 F. App’x 498, 502 (3rd Cir. 2011) (“[The]
statute of limitations is met when a complaint is submitted to the clerk before the statute runs[.]”);
it is further
ORDERED the Clerk shall send Plaintiff the form entitled Affidavit of Poverty and
Account Certification (Civil Rights)(DNJ ProSe 007 A(Rev. 5/13)) to be used by Plaintiff in any
future application to proceed informapauperis; it is further
ORDERED if Plaintiff wishes to reopen this case, he shall so notify the Court, in writing,
within thirty (30) days of the date of entry of this Order; Plaintiffs writing shall include either
(1) a complete, signed informapauperis application, including a proper certified six-month prison
account statement, or (2) the $400 fee including the $350 filing fee plus the $50 administrative
fee; it is further
ORDERED upon receipt of a writing from Plaintiff stating that he wishes to reopen this
case, and either a complete in forma pauperis application or payment of the filing and
administrative fees within the time allotted by this Court, the Clerk will be directed to reopen this
case; and it is further
ORDERED the Clerk shall serve a copy of this Order upon Plaintiff by regular U.S. mail.
Claire C. Cecchi, U.S.D.J.
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