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Jose A. Ortiz v. Georgia Pacific

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


July 25, 2012

JOSE A. ORTIZ,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
GEORGIA PACIFIC,
DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lawrence J. O'Neill United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF FEES FILED JULY 23, 2012 (Document 9)

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Jose A. Ortiz is proceeding pro se in this civil action for employment discrimination. (Doc. 1.) Along with the complaint filed on June 26, 2012, Plaintiff submitted a document entitled "Application To Proceed In Forma Pauperis."*fn1 (Doc. 2.) Following review and consideration of that original application, the Court issued its amended order on July 3, 2012, denying the application and requiring that Plaintiff to submit the $350 filing fee no later than July 30, 2012. (Doc. 4.) Thereafter, on July 9, 2012, Plaintiff filed a request for the Court to appoint counsel to represent him (Doc. 5), as well as a document entitled "Revision For Denying Application To Proceed Without Prepayment Of Fees/To Proceed In Forma Pauperis." (Doc. 6.)

Following consideration of the request to appoint counsel, Magistrate Judge Gary S. Austin denied the request. (Doc. 7.) However, the magistrate judge also ordered the Clerk of the Court to provide Plaintiff with this Court's approved application to proceed without payment of filing fee, recognizing a possible discrepancy - between the original application and the request under consideration - regarding Plaintiff's employment status. (Doc. 8.)

Presently before the Court is Plaintiff's second application to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 9.) For the reasons that follow, the Court denies the application.

DISCUSSION

The application submitted on July 23, 2012, provides that Plaintiff is not currently employed. He last worked for Defendant Georgia Pacific in December 2011. (Doc. 9 at 1.) Plaintiff currently receives disability benefits of $509.14 per week. (Doc. 9 at 1-2.) He has $5,000 in a checking or savings account and owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. (Doc. 9 at 2.) Plaintiff's wife Cecilia and son Jose depend solely upon him for their own support. (Doc. 9 at 2.)

Plaintiff receives approximately $509.00 per week as a disability benefit. That sum multiplied by fifty-two weeks exceeds the federal poverty guideline*fn2 of $19,090 for a family of three ($509 x 52 = $26,468). Equally significant however is the fact that Plaintiff has $5,000 in a checking or saving account at present. Thus, funds are available to Plaintiff well in excess of the required filing fee. As a result, Plaintiff is not entitled to proceed without payment of the filing fee. In forma pauperis status is reserved for those individuals with a true financial need who can demonstrate an inability to pay the required filing fee.

ORDER

In light of the foregoing, this Court finds Plaintiff is not entitled to proceed without prepayment of the $350 filing fee. Further, Plaintiff is advised that in order to proceed with his action in this Court, he must pay a filing fee of $350 (see 28 U.S.C. § 1914) no later than August 15, 2012.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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