United States District Court, D. Arizona
Benjiman C. Reed, Plaintiff,
Universal Health Systems, Defendant.
C. Collins Chief United States District Judge.
before the court is Plaintiff Benjamin Reed's
(“Reed”) second application for in forma pauperis
(“IFP”) certification (Doc. 8). The court denied
Reed's first application for IFP certification because he
provided conflicting information about his monthly income and
failed to provide other information requested in the form
application. Doc. 7. In so ruling, the Court permitted Reed
to refile his application. Id. On June 12, 2018 Reed
filed his second application for IFP certification. Doc. 8.
For the following reasons, Reed's second application for
IFP certification is denied.
federal IFP statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915, is intended to
benefit those too poor to pay or give security for costs of
litigation. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324
(1989) (citing Adkins v. E.I. Du Pont de Nemours &
Co., 335 U.S. 331, 342-43 (1948)). The Supreme Court has
noted that, in its general terms, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)
prevents federal courts from denying a person the opportunity
to commence, prosecute, or defend a civil or criminal action
solely because their poverty makes it impossible to pay or
secure the costs of litigation. Id. The individual
seeking IFP certification pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915,
however, must submit an affidavit of indigency or poverty
that sufficiently demonstrates his/her inability to both
provide themselves with the necessities of life and pay the
costs of litigation. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a);
Adkins, 335 U.S. at 339-40. IFP certification
“is a privilege, not a right” and permission to
so proceed is committed to the discretion of this Court.
See Weller v. Dickson, 314 F.2d 598, 600 (9th Cir.
upon the information provided in his original (Doc. 2) and
second (Doc. 8) IFP applications, this Court cannot verify
Reed's assertion of indigency. See United States v.
McQuade, 647 F.2d 938, 940 (9th Cir.1981) (per curiam)
(affiant must state facts in support of poverty with
“some particularity, definiteness and certainty”
(citation and internal quotation marks omitted)). Though he
attests his yearly income falls below the national poverty
threshold, see Doc. 8 at 5, Reed's reported
assets and expenses do not support a finding that he would be
unable to pay the costs of these proceedings without
depriving himself of life's necessities. See Rowland
v. Cal. Men's Colony, 506 U.S. 194, 203 (1993) (an
affidavit under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) is sufficient if it
shows the person cannot pay court costs and “still be
able to provide himself and dependents with the necessities
of life” (citation and internal quotation marks
omitted)); Doc. 8; Doc. 2. This is not to say that the Court
would require an IFP applicant, such as Reed, to demonstrate
penniless destitution, or that an applicant must forego
sufficient food, shelter, clothing, or support for dependents
in order to pursue his case. See Neitzke, 490 U.S.
at 324; Adkins, 335 U.S. at 342-43 (1948). To the
contrary, no man should be forced to go hungry to maintain
his case, otherwise he himself may become a public charge and
contravene the very purpose of the federal IFP statute.
Id.. Nevertheless, something more than a mere
statement of poverty is necessary before the Court will
confer IFP status. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a); Adkins,
335 U.S. at 339-40.
Reed reports a monthly gross income of $1, 000, $3, 000 in
personal bank accounts, and $400 in a business account for a
business he classifies as “dormant.” See
Doc. 8. In his original application, Plaintiff also listed
personal assets valued at $20, 000. See Doc. 2. The
Court further observes that Reed's reported monthly
expenses are limited to $100 for food, $100 for
transportation, $200 for recreational expenses, and $30 for a
credit card installment payment. Id. Although Reed
also lists a $200 monthly expense for taxes, he failed to
specify the nature of the payments as directed and, as such,
the Court will not consider that amount in calculating his
monthly expenses. See Doc. 8 at 4. Even if it did
consider the reported monthly “taxes, ” the Court
would nonetheless find Reed has not demonstrated he is
entitled to IFP certification. Accordingly, IT IS
Reed's Application to Proceed IFP (Doc.
8) is DENIED.
Reed must pay the filing fee associated with this
matter on or before sixty (60) days from the date of this
order. If Reed timely pays the filing fee associated
with this matter, he is warned he shall be responsible for
obtaining the necessary summons from the Clerk of the Court,
serving the Defendant in accordance with the Rules of Civil
Procedure, and, thereafter, adhering to the requirements for
practice and procedure set forth in the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure and in our Local Rules of Practice for the
District of Arizona (collectively “the Rules”).
The Rules and other information helpful to self-represented
litigants are available online at:
As a self-represented civil litigant, Plaintiff might also
consider scheduling an appointment with the Free Federal
Court Self-Service Clinic for the District of Arizona in
Tucson by contacting Mary Ann O'Neil, our federal
court librarian, at (520) 205-4661 or
MaryAnnO'Neil@LB9.uscourts.gov. Information about this
program is available at:
If Reed fails to tender payment as ordered, the Clerk
of the Court is ordered to immediately enter judgment
dismissing this matter, without ...