ELLIOTT v. DOE et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER that Plaintiff's implied request to proceed in forma pauperis is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE; that the Clerk of the Court shall ADMINISTRATIVELY TERMINATE this case; directing the Clerk shall send Plaintiff certain forms; that if Plaintiff wishes to reopen this case he shall notiify the Court, in writing, within 30 days of the date of entry of this Order. Signed by Judge Brian R. Martinotti on 4/13/2018. (mmh)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
JOHN DOE, et al.,
Civil Action No. 18-6348 (BRM)(LHG)
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
THIS MATTER is opened to the Court by pro se Plaintiff Tariq Elliott (“Plaintiff”), an
individual currently confined at Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold, New
Jersey, upon the filing of a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and an application to
proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). (ECF No. 1.) The Prison Litigation
Reform Act of 1995 (the “Act”), which amends 28 U.S.C. § 1915, establishes certain financial
requirements for prisoners who are attempting to bring a civil action in forma pauperis.
Under the Act, a prisoner bringing 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 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. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(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
in forma pauperis status will, instead, be assessed a filing fee of $350 and will not be responsible
for the $50 administrative fee. If in forma pauperis 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 in forma pauperis status, the prisoner must pay the full amount of
the $350 filing fee 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, payment equal to 20% of the preceding month’s income credited to the prisoner’s account.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
In other words, Plaintiff must pay the entire filing fee even if he is granted leave to proceed
in forma pauperis and even if the case is dismissed before the entire fee 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 relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(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 failed to submit any in forma pauperis application as required by
28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). In addition, Plaintiff also failed to sign his Complaint, as is required by the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 11 (“Every pleading, written motion, and
other paper must be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney’s name—or by a party
personally if the party is unrepresented.”).
IT IS on this 13th day of April 2018,
ORDERED that Plaintiff’s implied request to proceed in forma pauperis is DENIED
WITHOUT PREJUDICE; and it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court 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. Heriff’s Dep’t, 413 F. App’x 498, 502 (3d
Cir. 2011) (“[The] statute of limitations is met when a complaint is submitted to the clerk before
the statute runs . . . .”); and it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court 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 in forma pauperis and a blank civil rights complaint
form; and it is further
ORDERED that if Plaintiff wishes to reopen this case, he shall so notify the Court, in
writing addressed to the Clerk of the Court, Clarkson S. Fisher Building & U.S. Courthouse, 402
East State Street, Trenton, NJ 08608, within 30 days of the date of entry of this Order; Plaintiff’s
writing shall include either (1) a complete, signed in forma pauperis application, including a
certified prison account statement for the six months immediately preceding the filing of the
Complaint, or (2) the $400 fee including the $350 filing fee plus the $50 administrative fee, AND
an amended complaint which is signed by Plaintiff; and it is further
ORDERED that 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, as well as a signed amended complaint, within the time allotted by this Court,
the Clerk of the Court will be directed to reopen this case; and it is finally
ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall serve a copy of this Order upon Plaintiff by
regular U.S. mail.
/s/ Brian R. Martinotti
HON. BRIAN R. MARTINOTTI
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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