United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
EARNEST L. HINES, JR. PLAINTIFF
SOCIAL SERUCITY ADMINISTRATION DEFENDANT
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Michael T. Parker UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for
Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis . Having
considered the Plaintiff's submissions, the undersigned
recommends that the Motion  be denied and that Plaintiff
be directed to pay the filing fee.
proceeding pro se, filed his complaint along with
his Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis
, which included income and asset information. The Court
has sufficient information before it to evaluate
Plaintiff's financial status.
making the IFP determination, the Court may consider the
total monetary resources available to assist Plaintiff.
“There is no absolute right to be allowed to proceed in
forma pauperis in civil matters; rather it is a privilege
extended to those unable to pay filing fees when the action
is not frivolous or malicious.” Startti v. United
States, 415 F.2d 1115, 1116 (5th Cir. 1969). 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(1) is designed to provide access to federal
courts for plaintiffs lacking the financial resources to pay
any part of the statutory filing fees. See Barnes v.
Secretary, Dept. of Treasury, 2010 WL 4220422 (S.D.Miss.
Sept. 16, 2010). The Court must examine the Plaintiff's
financial condition in order to determine whether the payment
of fees would cause an undue financial hardship. Prows v.
Kastner, 842 F.2d 138, 140 (5th Cir. 1988). “There
is authority for the proposition that the privilege of
proceeding in forma pauperis in civil actions for
damages should be allowed only in exceptional
circumstances.” Williams v. Beau
Rivage, 2009 WL 3431457 (S.D.Miss. 2009). “The
granting or denying of in forma pauperis proceedings
of a civil nature is left to the sound discretion of the
District Court.” Id. (citing Willard v.
United States, 299 F.Supp. 1175, 1177 (N.D. Miss.
review of the financial information submitted reflects that
Plaintiff receives $3, 400 per month from “D.A.V.,
” presumably veteran's disability benefits. Thus,
Plaintiff's annual income is approximately $40, 800.
Plaintiff lists no dependents.
have utilized the applicable Department of Health and Human
Services poverty guidelines to assess an applicant's
financial condition. The applicable poverty guideline for a
single person household is $11, 880 annually. Plaintiff's
income far exceeds the poverty level.
Motion, Plaintiff asserts that his expenses exceed his
income. However, the sum of Plaintiff's separately listed
monthly expenses is $3, 199.68,  which is $200.32 less than
his monthly income. Additionally, Plaintiff owns a home
valued at $117, 000 and a motor vehicle valued at $2, 500.
Moreover, Courts have denied IFP applications even where the
plaintiffs' expenses exceed their income. See
Slaughter v. Vilsack, 2013 WL 1704909 (M.D. Ga. April
19, 2013). “Section 1915 is designed to protect those
litigants who suffer true financial hardship, not those who
are well-equipped to pay the filing fee but choose to
allocate their resources in a different manner.”
McCoy v. Colvin, 2013 WL 868682, at *1 (W.D. Ark.
Mar. 7, 2013).
financial status should allow him to pay the filing fee in
order to commence this action without undue hardship if given
a reasonable amount of time to tender the requisite amount.
Under the circumstances presented, Plaintiff should not be
permitted to proceed at taxpayer expense.
on the foregoing, the undersigned recommends that:
1. Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma
pauperis  be DENIED,
2. Plaintiff be given sixty days (60) days to pay all of the
costs associated with the filing of this lawsuit, and
3. Should Plaintiff fail to timely pay all of the costs
associated with the filing of this lawsuit, this matter be
dismissed without prejudice and without further notice.