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La Douer v. U.C.S.F

United States District Court, N.D. California

July 15, 2015

CHARLENE LA DOUER, Plaintiff,
v.
U.C.S.F, et al., Defendants.

ORDER RE: APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS

MARIA-ELENA JAMES, Magistrate Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Charlene La Douer filed two Complaints and two Applications to Proceed In Forma Pauperis ("IFP").[1] See Dkt. Nos. 1 (First Compl.); 8 (Second Compl.); 5 (First Appl.); 7 (Second Appl.). Having carefully reviewed Plaintiff's IFP Applications, the Court requires additional information before determining whether she may proceed in forma pauperis.

BACKGROUND

A. The Complaints

Plaintiffs' Complaints are hand-written and largely illegible and incomprehensible. From what the Court can ascertain, Plaintiff's First Complaint, filed on May 18, 2015, names as Defendants "UCSF, " "Juvenile Court, " Mayor Ed Lee, and "Tesla." First Compl. at 1. Plaintiff appears to allege that UCSF Well Baby Nursery and Hospital engaged in "malpracticing" when a nurse misread something about Plaintiff's newborn child's condition on August 2, 1999. Id. at 2. As to Mayor Lee, Plaintiff appears to accuse him of "offering jobs to immigrants" and states: "There jobs to fix up the city, where for drug police to know Jesus, and offer Rehab by demonstrating job skills, to inmates of Calif. prisons...." Id. She also mentions the fire department and "for every building to show concern for safety of 1806 Earthquake...." Id. The Complaint never mentions Tesla, the Juvenile Court, or why Plaintiff names them as Defendants.

Plaintiff's Second Complaint, filed on May 27, 2015, names only "Caminar, " although it discusses UCSF and the nurse, explaining that on July 28, 1999, the nurse misread her son's "tox screen[.]" Second Compl. at 2. She also discusses "CPS, " which appears to be Child Protective Services, stating it "conspired prior to this for adoption without advising me or my consent" and writing that "this has been an ongoing battle to keep me where they can control me[.]" Id. Plaintiff alleges that Caminar "continues to have illegally obtained evidence, and sexual contents in their [illegible]... to use to exploit, degrade, attack at anytime...." Id. at 3. Plaintiff demands "restorative justice.... including my parental rights, " as well as "an immediate restraining order" and "a search warrant from their premises in San Mateo." Id.

B. In Forma Pauperis Application

Like her Complaints, Plaintiff's IFP Applications are handwritten and often difficult to read. There are also inconsistencies between the Applications.

In Plaintiff's First Application, filed May 18, 2015, she indicates that she is unemployed and receives $869 per month in SSI, which the Court takes to be Social Security Income. First Appl. at 1-2. In the same section where she indicates her SSI, Plaintiff also writes "450.Rent[, ] 110.storage[, ] 50/wk [illegible, ] 25/mother - owe mother 260 - Dental Credit ([illegible] credit)[.]" Id. at 2. It is unclear whether those amounts are income or whether they are monthly expenses, debts, or something else entirely. See id. Elsewhere she indicates that her monthly expenses are $450 for rent, but does not list her monthly expenses for food, clothing, or utilities, writing only that they are "included[, ]" although it is unclear what she means by "included" or where those expenses are included. Id. at 3. The Application also notes that she pays an additional $260 per month on a charge account entitled "care credit." Id. Plaintiff also provides conflicting information about whether she has another lawsuit raising the claims present in this action. Id. at 4. Specifically, Plaintiff marks that she does not have another lawsuit involving the same claims, but in the following section provides what appears to be the name of an action involving San Mateo County. Id.

Plaintiff's Second Application, filed on May 27, 2015, indicates a monthly income of $900 a month but does not state the precise source. Second Appl. at 2. Additionally, in the section asking Plaintiff to list her monthly expenses, she again writes $450 for rent, but like her First Application, she does not list her monthly expenses for food, clothing, or utilities, writing only that they are "included[, ]" but failing to state where they are included. Id. at 3. Plaintiff identifies a charge account, but her writing is illegible and the Court cannot determine the name and amount owed to the listed account. Id. at 3. Plaintiff writes that she is owes a debt to her mother for "care credit, " but does not indicate what balance is due. Id. at 3.

LEGAL STANDARD

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915, a district court may authorize the commencement of a civil action IFP if it is satisfied that the plaintiff cannot pay the filing fees necessary to pursue the action. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). The policy for allowing a plaintiff to proceed IFP is to protect litigants from abandoning "what may be a meritorious claim in order to spare himself complete destitution." Adkins v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 335 U.S. 331, 340 (1948). However, "[c]ourt permission 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).

To determine IFP eligibility, an applicant must "submit[] an affidavit that includes a statement of all assets" showing that the applicant "is unable to pay such fees or give security therefor." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). To satisfy this requirement, "an affidavit [of poverty] is sufficient which states that one cannot because of his [or her] poverty pay or give security for costs... and still be able to provide himself and dependents with the necessities of life." Adkins, 335 U.S. at 339. The Ninth Circuit has held that "a plaintiff seeking IFP status must allege poverty with some particularity, definiteness and certainty.'" Escobedo v. Applebees, __ F.3d __, 2015 WL 3499902, at *7 (9th Cir. June 4, 2015) (quoting United States v. McQuade, 647 F.2d 938, 940 (9th Cir. 1981)). The Court has ...


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