United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
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 Plaintiff be
directed to pay the filing fee.
6, 2019, Plaintiff filed his Complaint , along with his
Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis .
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's spouse receives $3, 200.00 per month in
income. Thus, Plaintiff's annual household income is $38,
400.00. Plaintiff states that his forty-three year old sister
relies on him and his spouse for support.
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
three-person household is $21, 330.00 annually. Plaintiff's
annual household income is well above the poverty level.
Plaintiff owns a home worth $100, 000.00, two sport utility
vehicles collectively worth $5, 000.00, and a Harley Davidson
motorcycle worth $4, 500.00. Plaintiff also states that his
spouse has $400.00 in a checking account.
lists $2, 294.00 in monthly expenses, which include $800.00
for food and $50.00 for clothes. Plaintiff also states that
they pay $2, 400.00 per year in homeowner's insurance and
pay $550.00 in unspecified taxes. Additionally, Plaintiff
states that he and his spouse filed for bankruptcy in 2018
and make biweekly payments of $816.00. According to
Plaintiff's assertions, he has significant expenses.
Courts, however, 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).
Plaintiff's assets, including a $100, 000.00 home and a
$4, 500.00 Harley Davidson motorcycle, and that Plaintiff
does not have a mortgage or pay rent, Plaintiff should be
able 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
on the foregoing, the undersigned recommends that:
Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma
pauperis  be DENIED.
Plaintiff be given sixty (60) days to pay all of the costs
associated with the filing of this lawsuit.
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.