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William Thomas Myers v. U.S. Marshals Service

February 15, 2011

WILLIAM THOMAS MYERS,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
U.S. MARSHALS SERVICE,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: John A. HOUSTONUnited States District Judge

CDCR #E-18846,

ORDER:

1) GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS, IMPOSING NO PARTIAL FILING FEE AND GARNISHING $350 BALANCE FROM PRISONER'S TRUST ACCOUNT PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. Ãé§ 1915(a) AND FOR FAILING TO STATE A (2) DISMISSING COMPLAINT CLAIM PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. Ãé§Ãé§ 1915(e)(2)(B) & 1915A(b)

[Doc. No. 4];

Plaintiff, William Thomas Myers, an inmate currently incarcerated at Calipatria State Prison located in Calipatria, California, has filed a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Ãé§ 1983. In addition, Plaintiff has filed a Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis ("IFP") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Ãé§ 1915(a) [Doc. No. 4].

I.

MOTION TO PROCEED IFP

All parties instituting any civil action, suit or proceeding in a district court of the United States, except an application for writ of habeas corpus, must pay a filing fee of $350. See 28 U.S.C. Ãé§ 1914(a). An action may proceed despite a plaintiff's failure to prepay the entire fee only if the plaintiff is granted leave to proceed IFP pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Ãé§ 1915(a). See Rodriguez v. Cook, 169 F.3d 1176, 1177 (9th Cir. 1999). However, prisoners granted leave to proceed IFP remain obligated to pay the entire fee in installments, regardless of whether their action is ultimately dismissed. See 28 U.S.C. Ãé§ 1915(b)(1) & (2); Taylor v. Delatoore, 281 F.3d 844, 847 (9th Cir. 2002).

Under 28 U.S.C. Ãé§ 1915, as amended by the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), a prisoner seeking leave to proceed IFP must submit a "certified copy of the trust fund account statement (or institutional equivalent) for the prisoner for the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of the complaint." 28 U.S.C. Ãé§ 1915(a)(2); Andrews v. King, 398 F.3d 1113, 1119 (9th Cir. 2005). From the certified trust account statement, the Court must assess an initial payment of 20% of (a) the average monthly deposits in the account for the past six months, or (b) the average monthly balance in the account for the past six months, whichever is greater, unless the prisoner has no assets. See 28 U.S.C. Ãé§ 1915(b)(1); 28 U.S.C. Ãé§ 1915(b)(4). The institution having custody of the prisoner must collect subsequent payments, assessed at 20% of the preceding month's income, in any month in which the prisoner's account exceeds $10, and forward those payments to the Court until the entire filing fee is paid. See 28 U.S.C. Ãé§ 1915(b)(2).

The Court finds that Plaintiff has no available funds from which to pay filing fees at this time. See 28 U.S.C. Ãé§ 1915(b)(4) (providing that "[i]n no event shall a prisoner be prohibited from bringing a civil action or appealing a civil action or criminal judgment for the reason that the prisoner has no assets and no means by which to pay the initial partial filing fee."); Taylor, 281 F.3d at 850 (finding that 28 U.S.C. Ãé§ 1915(b)(4) acts as a "safety-valve" preventing dismissal of a prisoner's IFP case based solely on a "failure to pay ... due to the lack of funds available to him when payment is ordered."). Therefore, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed IFP [Doc. No. 4] and assesses no initial partial filing fee per 28 U.S.C. Ãé§ 1915(b)(1). However, the entire $350 balance of the filing fees mandated shall be collected and forwarded to the Clerk of the Court pursuant to the installment payment provisions set forth in 28 U.S.C. Ãé§ 1915(b)(1).

II.

SCREENING PURSUANT TO 28U.S.C.Ãé§Ãé§1915(e)(2)&1915A(b)

The PLRA also obligates the Court to review complaints filed by all persons proceeding IFP and by those, like Plaintiff, who are "incarcerated or detained in any facility [and] accused of, sentenced for, or adjudicated delinquent for, violations of criminal law or the terms or conditions of parole, probation, pretrial release, or diversionary program," "as soon as practicable after docketing." See 28 U.S.C. Ãé§Ãé§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(b). Under these provisions of the PLRA, the Court must sua sponte dismiss complaints, or any portions thereof, which are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim, or which seek damages from defendants who are immune. See 28 U.S.C. Ãé§Ãé§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A; Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (Ãé§ 1915(e)(2)); Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 446 (9th Cir. 2000) (Ãé§ 1915A); see also Barren v. Harrington, 152 F.3d 1193, 1194 (9th Cir. 1998) (discussing Ãé§ 1915A).

"[W]hen determining whether a complaint states a claim, a court must accept as true all allegations of material fact and must construe those facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Resnick, 213 F.3d at 447; Barren, 152 F.3d at 1194 (noting that Ãé§ 1915(e)(2) "parallels the language of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)"). In addition, the Court's duty to liberally construe a pro se's pleadings, see Karim-Panahi v. Los Angeles Police Dept., 839 F.2d 621, 623 (9th Cir. 1988), is "particularly important in civil rights cases." Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1261 (9th Cir. 1992). However, in giving liberal interpretation to a pro se civil rights complaint, the court may not "supply essential elements of claims that were not initially pled." Ivey v. Board of Regents ...


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