Rodenbeck v. Stanley
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS: It is RECOMMENDED that Plaintiffs Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (ECF No. 1 ) be DENIED and that he be ordered to pay the required $400 filing fee within FOURTEEN (14) DAYS if he intends to proceed. Objections to R&R due by 9/5/2017. Signed by Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Preston Deavers on August 21, 2017. (jlk) (This document has been sent by regular mail to the party(ies) listed in the NEF that did not receive electronic notification.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
DAVID ANDREW RODENBACK,
Case No. 2:17-cv-714
Judge Algenon L. Marbley
Magistrate Judge Elizabeth P. Deavers
ORDER AND REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
This matter is before the Court for consideration of Plaintiff’s Application to Proceed In
Forma Pauperis. (ECF No. 1.)
The United States Supreme Court, in Adkins v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 335 U.S.
331, (1948), set forth the legal standards governing applications to proceed in forma pauperis.
The Adkins Court advised that “one must not be absolutely destitute to enjoy the benefit of the
statute” and that the statute does not require an individual to “contribute . . . the last dollar they
have or can get.” Id. at 339. The Court explained that “[t]he public would not be profited if
relieved of paying costs of a particular litigation only to have imposed on it the expense of
supporting the person thereby made an object of public support.” Id. Rather, what is required is
a demonstration via affidavit that “because of his [or her] poverty,” the applicant cannot pay the
fee and continue to provide for the necessities of life. Id. Courts evaluating applications to
proceed in forma pauperis, generally consider an applicant’s employment, annual income and
expenses, and any other property or assets the individual possesses. Giles v. Comm’r of Soc.
Sec., No. 14-CV-11553, 2014 WL 2217136, at *1 (E.D. Mich. May 29, 2014).
Here, the information set forth in Plaintiff’s in forma pauperis affidavit does not
demonstrate his inability to pay. While Plaintiff represents that he has $40,000 in outstanding
student loans, the affidavit also demonstrates that he has no dependents and significant valuable
assets, including $14,000 in cash, savings, checking, or in another account. (ECF No. 1 at
PAGEID # 3.) Cf. Walker v. Wechsler, No. 1:16–cv–01417–JLT (PC), 2017 WL 2535340, at *3
(E.D. Cal. June 12, 2017) (revoking in forma pauperis status once the court learned that the
plaintiff had omitted from his application that he had $10,000, at the time he filed his application
and “it is clear that Plaintiff was not impoverished when he filed this action”); Pierre v. Miami
Dade Cty. Public Sch., No. 14–22045–CIV, 2014 WL 5393045, at *1 (S.D. Fla. Oct. 22, 2014)
(denying request to proceed in forma pauperis where the plaintiff’s monthly income was $1,828,
she had a checking account with a balance of $15,000, and her monthly expenses totaled
approximately $2,000). In addition, Plaintiff’s affidavit reflects that his average monthly income
is $6,160 (ECF No. 1 at PAGEID # 2.), which places Plaintiff’s income at more than six times
the poverty level of income for a family of one. See Annual Update of the HHS Poverty
Guidelines, 82 Fed. Reg. 8831–03, 8832 (Jan. 31, 2017) (listing the poverty line as $12,060, for a
family of one); Pramuk v. Hiestand, No. 3:16-CV-572, 2016 WL 7407011, at *1 (N.D. Ind. Dec.
22, 2016) (“Because Pramuk’s stated income is substantially more than the poverty level, she
does not qualify under the in forma pauperis statute.”); Behmlander v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., No.
12-14424, 2012 WL 5457383, at *1 (E.D. Mich. Nov. 8, 2012) (denying motion to proceed in
forma pauperis where the Plaintiff’s income was more than twice the federal poverty level).
In sum, in view of Plaintiff’s monthly income of $6,160 and his assets totaling
approximately $14,000, the Undersigned finds that Plaintiff has not demonstrated that, because
of his poverty, he is unable to pay for the costs of this litigation and still provide for himself. It
is therefore RECOMMENDED that Plaintiff’s Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (ECF
No. 1) be DENIED and that he be ordered to pay the required $400 filing fee within
FOURTEEN (14) DAYS if he intends to proceed.
Finally, if Plaintiff complies with his obligation to pay the full filing fee, the Court will
conduct an initial screening of the Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) to determine whether
or not any claims are subject to dismissal as frivolous, malicious, failing to state a claim, or
because the Complaint seeks monetary relief from a Defendant who is immune from such relief.
The Court will then enter an appropriate order and direct service of summons and complaint on
Defendants. Accordingly, the Court ORDERS the Clerk to NOT process summons or effect
service of process unless and until directed to do so by the Court.
PROCEDURE ON OBJECTIONS
If any party seeks review by the District Judge of this Report and Recommendation, that
party may, within fourteen (14) days, file and serve on all parties objections to the Report and
Recommendation, specifically designating this Report and Recommendation, and the part in
question, as well as the basis for objection. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b).
Response to objections must be filed within fourteen (14) days after being served with a copy.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b).
The parties are specifically advised that the failure to object to the Report and
Recommendation will result in a waiver of the right to de novo review of by the District Judge
and waiver of the right to appeal the judgment of the District Court. See, e.g., Pfahler v. Nat’l
Latex Prod. Co., 517 F.3d 816, 829 (6th Cir. 2007) (holding that “failure to object to the
magistrate judge’s recommendations constituted a waiver of [the defendant’s] ability to appeal
the district court’s ruling”); United States v. Sullivan, 431 F.3d 976, 984 (6th Cir. 2005) (holding
that defendant waived appeal of district court’s denial of pretrial motion by failing to timely
object to magistrate judge’s report and recommendation). Even when timely objections are filed,
appellate review of issues not raised in those objections is waived. Robert v. Tesson, 507 F.3d
981, 994 (6th Cir. 2007) (“[A] general objection to a magistrate judge’s report, which fails to
specify the issues of contention, does not suffice to preserve an issue for appeal . . . .” (citation
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Date: August 21, 2017
/s/ Elizabeth A. Preston Deavers
ELIZABETH A. PRESTON DEAVERS
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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