Monday, January 3, 2011

"Rich" prisoners may not proceed in forma pauperis

Stallings v. Warden, No. 8:10-cv-02668-RBH, 2010 WL 5387488 (D.S.C. Dec. 22, 2010):

A petitioner who is willing to pay the $5.00 statutory filing fee, and who has over $2,900 in his prison trust fund account, cannot proceed in forma pauperis only because he wishes to receive collateral benefits of the status.

A litigant is not required to show that he is completely destitute in order to qualify as an indigent within the meaning of § 1915(a). Grants or denials of applications to proceed in forma pauperis are left to the discretion of federal district courts.  There are no "magic formulas" for making the determination that the requisite in forma pauperis status is present, but instead, there is required a careful scrutiny and weighing of all of the relevant facts and circumstances involved in each particular situation.  However, the privilege to proceed without posting security for costs and fees is reserved to the many truly impoverished litigants who, within the District Court's sound discretion, would remain without legal remedy if such privilege were not afforded to them.

No comments:

Post a Comment