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Hugh Josephs, Jr. v. Admin-Christopher Warren

July 13, 2012

HUGH JOSEPHS, JR. PLAINTIFF,
v.
ADMIN-CHRISTOPHER WARREN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Freda L. Wolfson United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff Hugh Josephs, Jr., currently confined at New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, New Jersey, seeks to bring a civil action in forma pauperis,*fn1 without prepayment of fees or security, asserting claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Act"), which amends 28 U.S.C. § 1915, establishes certain financial requirements for prisoners who are attempting to bring a civil action 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 six-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 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 $350.00 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 the currently pending matter, Plaintiff did not submit any documents in support of an in forma pauperis application pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1), (2), nor did he prepay the $350.00 filing fee.

The Court additionally notes that Plaintiff has used an outof-date Complaint form which states that the filing fee is $150.00. To the contrary, the filing fee for a civil action is $350.00. If Plaintiff is granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this action, the Court may enter an Order assessing the $350.00 filing fee and directing that assessments be withdrawn from Plaintiff's prison account until the $350.00 filing fee is paid. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915.

Further, the Complaint submitted by Plaintiff is unsigned. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(a) (An unsigned paper must be stricken unless promptly corrected).

Finally, Plaintiff has included with his filing a document which appears to be a copy of a the first page of a request for appointment of counsel in a prior matter. It is unclear whether Plaintiff seeks appointment of counsel in this matter. Even if the inclusion of this document were to be construed as a request for appointment of counsel in this matter, the request is deficient to show that appointment of counsel would be warranted in this matter. Should Plaintiff wish to seek appointment of counsel in this matter, he must file an application for the appointment of pro bono counsel setting ...


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