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Beaver v. Burlington County Public Defender Office

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

June 29, 2017

ANTHONY CURTIS BEAVER, Plaintiff,
v.
BURLINGTON COUNTY PUBLIC DEFENDER OFFICE, et al., Defendants.

          Anthony Curtis Beaver Pro Se Plaintiff

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         This matter having come before the Court by way of Plaintiff's application [Doc. No. 1-5] to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP application”) in this action submitted on September 26, 2016 and by way of Plaintiff's Complaint[1] [Doc. No. 1] submitted to the Court on the same date; and

         The Court recognizing that when a non-prisoner seeks permission to file a civil complaint in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915, the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) requires the person[2] to submit an affidavit that includes a statement of all assets and that the person is unable to pay such fees or give security, see 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a); and

         The Court recognizing that the decision to grant or deny an IFP application is based solely on the economic eligibility of the petitioner, see Sinwell v. Shapp, 536 F.2d 15, 19 (3d Cir. 1976); and

         The Court having reviewed Plaintiff's IFP application and affidavit of poverty, and Plaintiff having signed the affidavit in support of his IFP application declaring under penalty of perjury that he is unable to pay the costs of these proceedings; and

         Accordingly, based on this information, the Court hereby grants Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis in this case and directs the Clerk to file the Complaint in this action; and

         The Court noting that under the PLRA the Court, prior to docketing or as soon as practicable after docketing, must also review the complaint in a civil action in which a plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The PLRA requires the Court to sua sponte dismiss any claim if the Court determines that it is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id.; and

         The Court further noting that a “document filed pro se is to be liberally construed, ... and a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers[.]” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted); see also Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); and

         The Court recognizing that federal courts also have an independent obligation to address issues of subject matter jurisdiction sua sponte and may do so at any stage of the litigation, see Adamczewski v. Emerson Elec. Co., No. 10-4862, 2011 WL 1045162, at *1 (D.N.J. Mar. 22, 2011) (citing Meritcare Inc. v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co., 166 F.3d 214, 217 (3d Cir. 1999), overruled on other grounds by Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Allapattah Svcs., Inc., 545 U.S. 546 (2005)); see also Zambelli Fireworks Mfg. Co. v. Wood, 592 F.3d 412, 418 (3d Cir. 2010) (“Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, and when there is a question as to our authority to hear a dispute, ‘it is incumbent upon the courts to resolve such doubts, one way or the other, before proceeding to a disposition on the merits.'”)(citing Carlsberg Res. Corp. v. Cambria Sav. & Loan Ass'n., 554 F.2d 1254, 1256 (3d Cir. 1977)); and

         Plaintiff asserting in his Complaint that “his rights [have been] violated by unfair credit practices[, ]” (See Compl. [Doc. No. 1] 1); and

         Plaintiff further asserting that the circumstances giving rise to his alleged “credit discrimination” stem from his 2007 extradition to Pennsylvania from the Burlington County Jail, (Id.); and

         Plaintiff alleging that because he had “no income” and “no place to live” at the time of his extradition, he utilized the “services of the Burlington County Public Defender's Office in [his] extradition matter[, ]”[3] (Id.); and

         Plaintiff claiming that in July of 2016, he received a bill from Penn Credit Corporation for the services provided by the Burlington County Public Defender's ...


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