ROSS v. COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY
OPINION filed. Signed by Judge Anne E. Thompson on 3/9/2018. (mps)
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
MAR - 9 2018
Civ. No. 17-8890
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,
This matter comes before the Court on the application filed by Plaintiff Marc Ross
("Plaintiff') to proceed informa pauperis without prepayment of fees, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915. (ECF No. 1-1.) The Court notes that Plaintiff appears prose in this matter. Based on
Plaintiffs affidavit of indigence, the Court finds that Plaintiff qualifies for in forma pauperis
status pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 and will direct that the Complaint be filed.
In considering an application to proceed informa pauperis, the Court generally conducts
a two-step analysis. See Roman v. Jeffes, 904 F.2d 192, 194 n.1 (3d Cir. 1990). First, the Court
determines whether the plaintiff is eligible to proceed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). To satisfy this
initial inquiry, litigants who wish to proceed in forma pauperis must file an application to do so
which includes an affidavit of indigence that states the individual's total income, all assets, and '
inability to pay filing fees. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(l); Glenn v. Hayman, 2007 WL 432974, at
*7 (D.N.J. Jan. 30, 2007). In this case, it appears that Plaintiff has satisfied the first inquiry.
Plaintiff claims that he has no income, he has been unemployed for several years, he receives
$210 per month in public assistance which he has been collecting since 2012, he receives a
monthly disbursement from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), he has
regular household expenses of $190 per month, he lives with his parents but worries his housing
situation may be temporary because his parents are senior citizens and may soon change their
residence, and he has received continuous treatment for mental and physical conditions since
roughly 2007, which costs between $100 and $225 every month (see ECF No. 1-2 at 5-6).
Plaintiff also noted that the SSA Appeals Council designated his case one of "dire need" in the
summer of 2017. (Id. at 6.) The Court finds that Plaintiff is eligible to proceed in forma pauperis.
Second, the Court determines whether the complaint should be dismissed. A complaint
may be subject to sua sponte dismissal if the complaint is frivolous, fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or seeks money damages from defendants who are immune from
such relief. See Roman, 904 F.2d at 194 n.1; 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). "The legal standard for
dismissing a complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is the
same as that for dismissing a complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). To
survive dismissal, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Schreane v. Seana, 506 F. App'x 120, 122 (3d Cir.
2012) (per curiam) (citations omitted). Here, Plaintiff appeals a final decision of Defendant, the
Commissioner of Social Security. The Court has reviewed Plaintiffs Complaint pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), and is not persuaded that sua sponte dismissal of the Complaint is
warranted. For these reasons, the Court will permit Plaintiffs Complaint to be filed without
prepayment of the filing fee pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § l915(e)(2)(B)(ii). An appropriate order will
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?