Jefferson v. Brennan
ORDER denying 1 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis signed by Judge Benjamin H. Settle.(TG; cc mailed to plaintiff)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
JASMIN L. JEFFERSON,
MEGAN J. BRENNAN, Postmaster
CASE NO. C17-5410 BHS
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S
MOTION TO PROCEED IN
FORMA PAUPERIS AND MOTION
TO APPOINT COUNSEL
This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Jasmin L. Jefferson’s (“Jefferson”)
motion to proceed in forma pauperis, proposed complaint, and motion to appoint counsel.
Dkts. 1, 1-1, 1-2.
On May 30, 2017, Jefferson filed the instant motion and proposed complaint.
Jefferson asserts that her household income is approximately $1,750 per month with
some additional income from child support or alimony and household expenses of
approximately $700 per month. Dkt. 1 at 1–2. Jefferson alleges that the postal service
denied her reasonable accommodations when she was pregnant. Dkt. 1-1 at 1.
The district court may permit indigent litigants to proceed in forma pauperis upon
completion of a proper affidavit of indigency. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a); W.D. Wash.
Local Rules LCR 3(b). However, the “privilege of pleading in forma pauperis . . . in
civil actions for damages should be allowed only in exceptional circumstances.” Wilborn
v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328 (9th Cir. 1986). The court has broad discretion in denying
ORDER - 1
an application to proceed in forma pauperis. Weller v. Dickson, 314 F.2d 598 (9th Cir.
1963), cert. denied 375 U.S. 845 (1963).
In this case, Jefferson has failed to show exceptional circumstances exist in this
civil action for damages. It appears that Jefferson is able to pay the filing fee, which
precludes a finding of indigency. Therefore, the Court denies the motion.
With regard to the motion to appoint counsel, the Court evaluates both the
likelihood of success on the merits and the ability of the plaintiff to articulate her claims
pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved. Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789
F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986). At this point, Jefferson appears to be able to articulate
her claims and the legal issues are not that complex. Therefore, the Court denies
Jefferson’s motion to appoint counsel.
Jefferson must pay the filing fee or otherwise respond no later than June 16, 2017.
Failure to do so will result in the Clerk dismissing her claims without prejudice for failure
to prosecute without further order of the Court.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated this 7th day of June, 2017.
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE
United States District Judge
ORDER - 2
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