UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
May 12, 2009
ROBERT LEO SHEPARD, APELLANT,
GLENN CONKLIN, APPELLEE.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Anthony W. Ishii Chief United States District Judge
ORDER GRANTING IN FORMA PAUPERIS APPLICATION
Appellant Robert Leo Shepard and his wife filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Eastern District of California. Related to the bankruptcy is an adversary proceeding in which Appellant is the defendant. Bankruptcy Judge Richard Lee granted summary judgment in favor of the Appellee in the adversary proceeding. Appellant appealed the decision to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel ("BAP"). In appealing the matter, Appellant sought to have the $255 filing fee waived. The BAP referred the matter to the district court to determine if Appellant qualifies for an in forma pauperis fee waiver under 28 U.S.C. §1915 as the BAP does not have the jurisdiction to do so. See In re Perroton, 958 F.2d 889, 896 (9th Cir. 1992). The BAP is keeping the underlying appeal, referring only the in forma pauperis application to the district court.
Section 1915(a) requires the applicant to provide an affidavit stating his/her financial situation. Appellant, proceeding pro se, submits an Eastern District of California Bankruptcy Court form that sets out his income, expenses, and assets which he personally signed on April 18, 2009. There are three members in his household. The household's monthly income consists of $950 in unemployment insurance payments; monthly expenses are listed as $1,500. Appellant owns a house and a car, but has negative equity in both. He also has a bank account in which the balance is $10, a negligible amount. Though Appellant does not itemize his specific monthly expenses, $1,500 is not an unreasonable amount for a family of three with a mortgage. Based on these representations, Appellant meets the requirements for an in forma pauperis fee waiver.
IT IS ORDERED that
1) Appellant's application to proceed in forma pauperis is GRANTED.
2) The clerk is directed to serve this order upon appellant and close this case.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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