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Bond v. Azar
United States District Court, D. Arizona
September 5, 2019
Neil Rusty Bond, Plaintiff,
Alex M Azar, Defendant.
A. TEILBORG SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
August 14, 2019, the Court issued the following Order:
Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's application to
proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 2). To qualify for in forma
An affidavit in support of an IFP application is sufficient
where it alleges that the affiant cannot pay the court costs
and still afford the necessities of life. Adkins v. E.I.
DuPont de Nemours & Co., 335 U.S. 331, 339 
(1948). The IFP statute does not itself define what
constitutes insufficient assets. As this court has
recognized, “[o]ne need not be absolutely destitute to
obtain benefits of the in forma pauperis statute.”
Jefferson v. United States, 277 F.2d 723, 725 (9th
Escobedo v. Applebees, 787 F.3d 1226, 1234 (9th Cir.
In this case, Plaintiff states that he receives “rent
payments, interest, or dividends.” (Doc. 2 at 1).
However, he does not state the amount of such payments or
whether he expects them to continue in the future. Thus, on
this record, the Court cannot assess whether Plaintiff
qualifies for in forma pauperis status.
Further, if in forma pauperis status were to be granted, the
Court would be required to screen the complaint pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). In this case, the Court has
reviewed the complaint and it appears to be an attempt to
appeal a decision by the social security administration.
Plaintiff has named as the Defendant in this case, Alex M.
Azar, the Secretary of the United States Department of Health
and Human Services.
However, Pursuant to P.L. No. 103-296, the Social Security
Independence and Program Improvements Act of 1994, the
function of the Secretary of Health and Human Services in
Social Security cases was transferred to the Commissioner of
the Social Security Administration, effective March 31, 1995.
In accordance with section 106(d) of the Act, Shirley S.
Chater, the Commissioner of Social Security, is substituted
for Donna E. Shalala, Secretary of Health and Human Services,
as the defendant.
Lester v. Chater, 81 F.3d 821, 835 (9th Cir. 1995),
as amended (Apr. 9, 1996).
Here, Plaintiff's appeal was filed well after 1995 and
after the transition rules of section 106(d). Therefore, it
would appear he has named the wrong Defendant.
Based on the foregoing,
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's
application to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 2) is denied.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that by August 29,
2019, Plaintiff shall either pay the filing fee or file a
complete application to proceed in forma pauperis. If
Plaintiff fails to take either of these actions by August 29,
2019, the Clerk of the Court shall enter judgment dismissing
this case without prejudice. If in forma pauperis status is
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