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Wheeler v. Social Security Administration

September 24, 2010

JOHN FREDERICK WHEELER PLAINTIFFS,
v.
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, MR. G. JUAN, ET AL., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jennifer L. Thurston United States Magistrate Judge

FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATION DENYING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS AND DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND

(Docs. 1, 2)

I. IFP Motions

On September 15, 2010, Plaintiff filed a motion to proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP"). (Doc. 2) Under 28 USC § 1915(e)(2), the Court is obligated to deny the motion to proceed IFP if the allegation of poverty is untrue or the action is frivolous or malicious, it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune.

For the reasons set forth below, the Court recommends that the motions to proceed IFP be DENIED and the complaint be DISMISSED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND.

I. Motion to proceed IFP

All parties instituting any civil action, suit or proceeding in a United States District Court must pay a filing fee. See 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). An action may proceed despite a plaintiff's failure to prepay the fee only if the plaintiff is granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). See Rodriguez v. Cook, 169 F.3d 1176, 1177 (9th Cir. 1999).

This Court has broad discretion to grant or deny Plaintiff's motion. O'Loughlin v. Doe, 920 F.2d 614, 616 (9th Cir. 1990). "[P]ermission to proceed in forma pauperis is itself a matter of privilege and not right; denial of in forma pauperis status does not violate the applicant's right to due process." Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1231 (9th Cir. 1984) (citation omitted). "The trial court must be careful to avoid construing the statute so narrowly that a litigant is presented with a Hobson's choice between eschewing a potentially meritorious claim or foregoing life's plain necessities. [Citations]. But, the same even-handed care must be employed to assure that federal funds are not squandered to underwrite, at public expense, either frivolous claims or the remonstrances of a suitor who is financially able, in whole or in material part, to pull his own oar. Temple v. Ellerthorpe, 586 F. Supp. 848, 850 (D.R.I. 1984) (citation omitted).

The Court is required to deny an application to proceed IFP when the complaint fails to state a claim. 28 USC § 1915(e)(2). For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that the Court lacks jurisdiction in the matter and that the complaint fails to state a claim. Therefore, the Court recommends that the motion to proceed IFP be DENIED.

II. Screening the Complaint

In cases wherein the plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court is required to screen cases and must dismiss the case at any time if the Court determines that the allegation of poverty is untrue, or the action or appeal is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2).

Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a) provides:

A pleading which sets forth a claim for relief, whether an original claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, shall contain (1) a short and plain statement of the grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction depends, unless the court already has jurisdiction and the claim needs no new grounds of jurisdiction to support it, (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and (3) a demand for ...


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