United States District Court, D. New Jersey
BRIAN R. MARTINOTTI, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff Jody Paul
Adams's Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
(“IFP”). (ECF Nos. 3 and 4.) When a plaintiff,
including a non-prisoner, seeks to proceed IFP under 28
U.S.C. § 1915, he is required to submit an affidavit
that sets forth his assets and attests to his inability to
pay the requisite fees. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a); Roy v. Penn. Nat'l Ins. Co., No.
14-4277, 2014 WL 4104979, at *1 n.1 (D.N.J. Aug. 19, 2014)
(citations omitted). Permission to proceed IFP “is a
privilege rather than a right, ” Shahin v.
Sec'y of Delaware, 532 F. App'x 123 (3d Cir.
2013), and “[t]he decision . . . turns on whether an
applicant is ‘economically eligible for such
status.” Taylor v. Supreme Court, 261 F.
App'x 399, 400 (3d Cir. 2008) (quoting Sinwell v.
Shapp, 536 F.2d 15, 19 (3d Cir. 1976)). Therefore, the
decision whether to grant or to deny the application should
be based upon the economic eligibility of the applicant, as
demonstrated by the affidavit. See Sinwell, 536 F.2d
at 19. “A person need not be ‘absolutely
destitute' to proceed [IFP]; however, an affiant must
show the inability to pay the filing and docketing
fees.” Taylor, 261 F. App'x at 400
(citations omitted) (citing Adkins v. E.I. DuPont de
Nemours & Co., 335 U.S. 331, 339 (1948) and
Walker v. People Express Airlines, Inc., 886 F.2d
598, 601 (3d Cir. 1989)).
filed two long-form applications to proceed IFP, several
months apart. (ECF Nos. 1-1 and 4.) The second application is
missing pages 3 through 5 of the long form application, but
includes Adams's Wells Fargo checking account statement
for July 2017. (See ECF No. 4 at 6-11.) While, in
the first application, Adams certifies he does not expect any
major changes to his income or expenses, he provided the
Court with additional information in his second application.
Therefore, the Court will consider both applications together
in order to determine Adams's ability to pay the filing
to Adams's IFP application, his total household income
(including his wife's income) is $3115 per month,
comprised of $1, 860 from his disability payments, $455 from
VA disability, and $800 for his wife's disability. (ECF
No. 3 at 2; ECF No. 4 at 2.) At the time of the first
application, their household expenses totaled $1915 per
month. (ECF No. 3 at 4.) Neither he nor his wife are
employed, nor have they been employed in the last two years.
(ECF No. 3 at 2; ECF No. 4 at 2.) Adams does not own any real
estate but owns a 2013 Ford Focus, which he
values at $7000. (ECF No. 3 at 3.) Based on this alone, the
Court notes Adams's monthly income exceeds his expenses
by over $1000.
the line items in Adams's Wells Fargo checking account
statement further belie his claims of financial hardship.
(ECF No. 4 at 6-11.) While Adams's affidavit states he
has $200 in his checking account, the account shows a balance
of $327.37. Moreover, Adams spent a total of $110 on
“FanDuel, ” a fantasy sports game, and $350 at
the Parx Casino. (Id.) Other expenditures include
$52.34 at a liquor store, $124.60 at Michaels (an arts and
crafts retail store), $50 at a nails salon, $67.84 at a
jewelry store, and $49.10 at a sports pub. (Id. at
7-11). There are also six separate Transaction Fees for using
ATMs unauthorized by his bank, an indifference to which is
not commensurate with an inability to pay filing and
person need not be destitute in order to proceed IFP, the
record before the Court does not show Adams's
“inability to pay the filing and docketing fees,
” Taylor, 261 F. App'x at 400, or that he
would be deprived of the necessities of life by paying same,
Shahin, 532 F. App'x at 124 (quoting
Adkins, 335 U.S. at 339). Cf. Taylor, 261
F. App'x at 400 (finding the district court abused its
discretion by denying an IFP application where the applicant
was unemployed and the spouse supported the applicant and
their six children while living below the federal poverty
Court makes note of the Water Shut Off Notice and Mortgage
Billing Statement provided by Adams, just one day after he
filed his second IFP application. However, the documents
relate to a property located on Hamilton Avenue in Trenton,
New Jersey, at an address other than Adams's mailing
address. Without an affidavit from Adams with respect to the
documents or the amounts owed therein, the Court cannot
attribute them to Adams. If Adams wishes to file a new IFP
application, he may do so.
IT IS on this 28th day of February 2018,
ORDERED that Adams's Application to
Proceed IFP (ECF Nos. 3 and 4) are DENIED WITHOUT
PREJUDICE; and it is further
the Clerk is directed to CLOSE the file; and
it is finally
that Adams may submit payment in the amount of $400.00 within
14 days from the date of this order to reopen the case
without further action from the Court.
 But see ECF No. 5 (showing
water and mortgage bills in Adams's name, for a property
other than his mailing address).
 On even date, the Court reviewed two
additional applications to proceed IFP filed by Adams.
See Nos. 17-2298 and 17-5412. While the Court is
considering each application independently, it notes
Adams's other affidavits did not indicate he owned a
motor vehicle. Regardless, ...