Hubbert v. Commissioner of Social Security
ORDER signed by Chief Judge Pamela Pepper on 9/16/2022 GRANTING 2 plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed without prepaying filing fee. (cc: all counsel)(cb)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
Case No. 22-cv-1069-pp
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED
WITHOUT PREPAYING THE FILING FEE (DKT. NO. 2)
The plaintiff has filed a complaint seeking judicial review of a final
administrative decision denying his claim for disability insurance benefits
under the Social Security Act. Dkt. No. 1. He also filed a motion for leave to
proceed without prepaying the filing fee. Dkt. No. 2.
To allow the plaintiff to proceed without paying the filing fee, the court
first must decide whether the plaintiff can pay the fee; if not, it must determine
whether the lawsuit is frivolous. 28 U.S.C. §§1915(a) and 1915(e)(2)(B)(i).
Based on the facts in the plaintiff’s affidavit, the court concludes that he
does not have the ability to pay the filing fee. The plaintiff indicates that he is
not employed, he is not married, and he has no dependents he is responsible
for supporting. Dkt. No. 2 at 1. The plaintiff receives $250 each month in food
stamps and the only expenses listed are $250 each month in other household
expenses, Id. at 2. The plaintiff does not own a car or his home or any other
Case 2:22-cv-01069-PP Filed 09/16/22 Page 1 of 3 Document 4
property of value, and he has no cash on hand or in a checking or savings
account. Id. at 3-4. The plaintiff states “I have never been formally employed,”
id. at 2, and “I only receive food stamps and rely on social programs to help me
with my daily needs. I’m on assisted housing, I have a government phone, and
receive a bus pass from the DVR to cover transportation. I do not have any
money to pay for my necessary expenses, let alone the filing fee,” id. at 4. The
plaintiff has demonstrated that he cannot pay the $350 filing fee and $52
The next step is to determine whether the case is frivolous. A case is
frivolous if there is no arguable basis for relief either in law or in fact. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992) (quoting Nietzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319,
325 (1989); Casteel v. Pieschek, 3 F.3d 1050, 1056 (7th Cir. 1993)). A person
may obtain district court review of a final decision of the Commissioner of
Social Security. 42 U.S.C. §405(g). The district court must uphold the
Commissioner’s final decision as long as the Commissioner used the correct
legal standards and the decision is supported by substantial evidence. See
Roddy v. Astrue, 705 F.3d 631, 636 (7th Cir. 2013).
The plaintiff’s complaint indicates that he was denied Supplemental
Security Income benefits due to lack of disability, that he is disabled, that “the
agency committed error of law by denying Appeals Council review of the
decision by the Administrative Law Judge, or otherwise to deny relief that was
within the authority of the Appeals Council,” and that the conclusions and
findings of fact of the Commissioner when denying benefits are not supported
Case 2:22-cv-01069-PP Filed 09/16/22 Page 2 of 3 Document 4
by substantial evidence and are contrary to law and regulation. Dkt. No. 1 at 12. At this early stage in the case, and based on the information in the plaintiff’s
complaint, the court concludes that there may be a basis in law or in fact for
the plaintiff’s appeal of the Commissioner’s decision, and that the appeal may
have merit, as defined by 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B)(i).
The court GRANTS the plaintiff’s motion for leave to proceed without
prepaying the filing fee. Dkt. No. 2.
Dated in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this 16th day of September, 2022.
BY THE COURT:
HON. PAMELA PEPPER
Chief United States District Judge
Case 2:22-cv-01069-PP Filed 09/16/22 Page 3 of 3 Document 4
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?