Morrell, Sr. v. Blackwell
ORDER DIRECTING PLAINTIFF TO COMPLY WITH 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2) OR PAY THE $400 CIVIL FILING FEE. Signed by Judge James D. Todd on 8/23/17. (Todd, James)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
JOSEPH J.H. MORRELL, SR.,
ORDER DIRECTING PLAINTIFF TO COMPLY WITH 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2)
OR PAY THE $400 CIVIL FILING FEE
On August 17, 2017, Plaintiff Joseph J.H. Morrell, Sr., who is incarcerated at the
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center in Hartsville, Tennessee, filed a civil complaint
accompanied by a motion to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF Nos. 1 & 2.)
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).
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. § 1915(b)(2). However, in order to take advantage of the installment
procedures, the prisoner must properly complete and submit to the district court, along with
the complaint, an in forma pauperis affidavit containing a current certification by the prison
trust account officer and a copy of his trust account statement for the six months immediately
preceding the filing of the complaint. § 1915(a)(2).
In this case, the affidavit submitted by Plaintiff is accompanied by a copy of a memo
to the TTCC trust fund custodian dated August 1, 2017, in which Plaintiff requests a certified
copy of his trust account statement. (ECF No. 2-1.) Plaintiff’s cover letter to the Court states
that he will submit the trust account statement as soon as he receives it. (ECF No. 2-2.)
Accordingly, Plaintiff is ORDERED to submit, within 30 days after the date of this order,
either the entire $400 civil filing fee1 or a copy of his trust account statement for the last six
months. If Plaintiff needs additional time to file the required document, he may request one
30-day extension of time from this Court. McGore, 114 F.3d at 605.
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 a filing
fee of $350 in accordance with the installment procedures of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). 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 without regard to the installment
Twenty-eight U.S.C. § 1914(a) requires a civil filing fee of $350. In addition, § 1914(b)
requires the clerk to “collect from the parties such additional fees . . . 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. Therefore, if Plaintiff is ultimately granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in
accordance with the PLRA, he will not be responsible for the additional $50 fee.
payment procedures, and dismiss the action without further notice pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 41(b), for failure to prosecute. McGore, 114 F.3d at 605.2
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).
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?