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Gaines v. Harbert

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


May 27, 2009

JOE P. GAINES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
HARBERT; W. FERMON; A. LEWIS; AND J. MCBROOM, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cathy Ann Bencivengo United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF INVESTIGATOR [Doc. No. 83]

Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The complaint alleges that the defendants participated in a "beat down" against him, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. On May 14, 2009, Plaintiff filed a "motion for appointment of investigator," requesting that the Court appoint an investigator to assist him in locating expert witnesses. [Doc. No. 83.] Plaintiff contends that he needs the Court to appoint an investigator, because he is currently in administrative segregation and has no access to a telephone. [Id. at 1.]

Title 28, United States Code, section 1915, authorizes federal courts to permit commencement of suit without prepayment of fees and costs upon a showing of indigency and allows indigents who are unable to pay the entire filing fee upon filing to pay in installments. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)&(b).

Section 1915 does not authorize or require federal courts to finance or subsidize a civil action or appeal paying expert fees or other costs. Hadsell v. Internal Revenue Service, 107 F.3d 750, 752 (9th Cir. 1997); Dixon v. Ylst, 990 F.2d 478, 480 (9th Cir. 1993). The expenditure of public funds on behalf of an indigent litigant is proper only when authorized by Congress. See United States v. MacCollom, 426 U.S. 321 (1976); Tedder v. Odel, 890 F.2d 210, 211 (9th Cir. 1989). Plaintiff has not shown any Congressional authority for the Court to pay for an investigator for him in this civil action. An incarcerated pro se plaintiff may have great difficulty pursuing his action from prison, but that does not mean that the Court can or must fund his efforts. He must find a way to prosecute his action within his financial means and consistent with his status as a prisoner.

Accordingly, Plaintiff's request for a private investigator is DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20090527

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