Phillips v. Wilson et al
ORDER DIRECTING PLAINTIFF TO COMPLY WITH 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1)-(2) OR PAY $400 CIVIL FILING FEE. Signed by Judge James D. Todd on 4/19/17. (Todd, James)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
SCOTT WILSON, ET AL.,
ORDER DIRECTING PLAINTIFF TO COMPLY WITH
28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1)-(2) OR PAY $400 CIVIL FILING FEE
On April 17, 2017, Plaintiff Prentiss Phillips, Tennessee Department of Correction
prisoner number 131499, who is incarcerated at the West Tennessee State Penitentiary in
Henning, Tennessee, filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1.)
However, Plaintiff neglected to submit either the $400 civil filing fee required by 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1914(a)-(b) or an application to proceed in forma pauperis.
Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b), a
prisoner bringing a civil action must pay the filing fee required by 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a).1
Twenty-eight U.S.C. § 1914(a) requires a civil filing fee of $350. However, pursuant to
§ 1914(b), “[t]he clerk shall collect from the parties such additional fees only as are prescribed
by the Judicial Conference of the United States.” The Judicial Conference has prescribed an
additional administrative fee of $50 for filing any civil case, except for cases seeking habeas
corpus and cases in which the plaintiff is granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis under 28
U.S.C. § 1915. Thus, if Plaintiff is granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis, he will not be
liable for the additional $50 fee.
Although the obligation to pay the fee accrues at the moment the case is filed, see McGore
v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 605 (6th Cir. 1997), partially overruled on other grounds
by LaFountain v. Harry, 716 F.3d 944, 951 (6th Cir. 2013), the PLRA provides the prisoner
the opportunity to make a “down payment” of a partial filing fee and pay the remainder in
installments. Id. at 604. However, in order to take advantage of the installment procedures,
the prisoner must complete and submit to the district court, along with the complaint, an in
forma pauperis affidavit and a certified copy of his inmate trust account statement for the last
six months. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2). In this case, although Plaintiff did submit a certified
copy of his trust account statement (ECF No. 2), he did not include an in forma pauperis
Therefore, the Plaintiff is ORDERED to submit, within 30 days after the date of this
order, either the entire $400 civil filing fee or a properly completed and executed application
to proceed in forma pauperis.2 The Clerk is directed to mail Plaintiff a copy of the prisoner
in forma pauperis affidavit form along with this order. If Plaintiff needs additional time to
submit the affidavit, he may, within 30 days after the date of this order, file a motion for an
extension of time.
If Plaintiff timely submits the necessary document and the Court finds that he is
indeed indigent, the Court will grant leave to proceed in forma pauperis and assess only a
$350 filing fee in accordance with the installment procedures of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b).
Plaintiff does not need to submit another copy of his trust account statement.
However, if Plaintiff fails to comply with this order in a timely manner the Court will deny
leave to proceed in forma pauperis, assess the entire $400 filing fee from his inmate trust
account without regard to the installment payment procedures, and dismiss the action without
further notice for failure to prosecute, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b). McGore, 114 F.3d
If Plaintiff is transferred to a different prison or released, he is ORDERED to notify
the Court immediately, in writing, of his change of address. Failure to abide by this
requirement also may result in the dismissal this action, without further notice, for failure to
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/ James D. Todd
JAMES D. TODD
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Even a voluntary dismissal by Plaintiff will not eliminate the obligation to pay the filing
fee. McGore. 114 F.3d at 607; see also In re Alea, 286 F.3d 378, 381 (6th Cir. 2002).
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