United States District Court, D. New Jersey
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
Plaintiff Roderick Black, a prisoner currently confined at
the Federal Correctional Institution at Fairton in Fairton,
New Jersey, seeks to bring this civil action in forma
pauperis, without prepayment of fees or security,
asserting claims pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named
Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). ECF No. 1.
he initially submitted his complaint, Plaintiff failed to
submit a complete in forma pauperis application as
required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1), (2). Specifically,
Plaintiff did not submit a certified six month account
statement. See ECF No. 1-2.
Thereafter, this Court entered an order requiring Petitioner
to submit the filing fee or a complete in forma
pauperis application within 45 days. ECF Nos. 3, 4.
November 21, 2018, Plaintiff submitted a complete in
forma pauperis application. ECF No. 5.
his affidavit of indigence, Plaintiff states that he is
employed at FCI Fairton and receives $100 to $170 a month.
ECF No. 5 at 2. In addition, Petitioner’s certified
account statement provides for an available balance of $6,
883.98. Id. at 11.
stated by the Court in its previous Opinion, 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.
entire fee to be paid in advance of filing a civil complaint
is $400. That fee includes a filing fee of $350 plus an
administrative fee of $50, for a total of $400. A prisoner
who is granted in forma pauperis status will,
instead, be assessed a filing fee of $350 and will not be
responsible for the $50 administrative fee. If in forma
pauperis status is denied, the prisoner must pay the
full $400, including the $350 filing fee and the $50
administrative fee, before the complaint will be filed.
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.
this action, Petitioner has a monthly income of $100 to $170
and approximately $6, 883.98 in his prison account. This
indicates that Plaintiff had the financial means to pay the
filing fee. In Shahin v. Sec. of Delaware, 532 F.
App’x 123, 124 (3d Cir. 2013), the Court of Appeals for
the Third Circuit upheld an IFP denial by the district court,
even when the plaintiff showed that she only had a monthly
income of $95 from self-employment. Because the plaintiff was
provided by her husband, “with food, clothing, shelter,
paying her medical and travel expenses and even her business
losses, ” the Third Circuit reasoned, “requiring
[plaintiff] to pay her own litigation expenses, although
requiring her to save for several months, would not deprive
her of the ‘necessities of life.’”
Here, Plaintiff’s income exceeds the $95 a month
threshold established in Shahin, and Plaintiff is
also similarly situated in that he has his food, clothing,
shelter, and medical expenses paid for by the prison.
Furthermore, Plaintiff has ample funds in his prison account
to pay the filing fee, such that requiring the payment of the
filing fee “would not deprive [him] of the
‘necessities of life.’” 532 F. App’x
at 124. As such, leave to proceed in forma pauperis
will be denied.
THEREFORE on this 11th day of December,
2018, ORDERED that Plaintiff’s request to proceed
in forma ...