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Bonadonna v. United States Dep't of Justice

November 6, 2008

PHILIP ANTHONY BONADONNA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jerome B. Simandle United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, Philip Anthony Bonadonna, a federal inmate currently confined at the Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Dix, New Jersey ("FCI Fort Dix"), seeks to bring this action under the Freedom of Information Act, in which he is attempting to obtain information from the witness security program. Plaintiff failed to pay the full $350.00 filing fee and did not submit a complete application to proceed in forma pauperis, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915.

The Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (April 26, 1996) (the "Act"), which amends 28 U.S.C. § 1915, establishes certain financial requirements for prisoners who are attempting to bring a civil action or file an appeal in forma pauperis.

Under the Act, a prisoner bringing a civil action in forma pauperis must submit an affidavit, including a statement of all assets, which states that the prisoner is unable to pay the fee.

28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). The prisoner also must submit a certified copy of his inmate trust fund account statement for the 6-month period immediately preceding the filing of his complaint.

28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2). The prisoner must obtain this statement from the appropriate official of each prison or institutional facility at which he was or is confined. Id.

Even if the prisoner is granted in forma pauperis status, the prisoner must pay the full amount of the $350 filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). In each month that the amount in the prisoner's account exceeds $10.00, until the $350.00 filing fee is paid, the agency having custody of the prisoner shall assess, deduct from the prisoner's account, and forward to the Clerk of the Court payment equal to 20% of the preceding month's income credited to the prisoner's account. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).

Plaintiff may not have known when he submitted his complaint that he must pay the filing fee, and that even if the full filing fee, or any part of it, has been paid, the Court must dismiss the case if it finds that the action is:

(1) frivolous or malicious;

(2) fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or

(3) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). If the Court dismisses the case for any of these reasons, the Act does not permit the prisoner to get his filing fee back.

If the prisoner has, on three or more prior occasions while incarcerated, brought an action or appeal in a court that was dismissed on any of the grounds listed above, he cannot bring another action in forma pauperis unless he is in imminent danger of serious physical injury. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).

In this case, Plaintiff failed to either pay the $350.00 filing fee, or submit a complete in forma pauperis application as required by 28 U.S.C. ยง 1915(a)(1); in particular, Plaintiff failed to provide a complete in forma pauperis application that contains an account certification form certified by an authorized officer of the institution ...


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