United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS
[DOC. 2] AND REFERRING TO MAGISTRATE FOR REPORT &
THOMAS J. WHELAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Ronald Henderson filed this action on August 30, 2017,
seeking review of the denial of his application for
supplemental security income benefits under the Social
Security Act. (Compl. [Doc. 1].) He thereafter filed
the pending motion to proceed in forma pauperis
(“IFP”) under 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
(Pl.'s Mot. [Doc. 2].)
Court decides the matter on the papers submitted. For the
reasons outlined below, the Court GRANTS the
IFP motion. [Doc. 2.]
determination of indigency falls within the district
court's discretion. California Men's Colony v.
Rowland, 939 F.2d 854, 858 (9th Cir. 1991), reversed
on other grounds, 506 U.S. 194 (1993) (“Section
1915 typically requires the reviewing court to exercise its
sound discretion in determining whether the affiant has
satisfied the statute's requirement of
well-settled that a party need not be completely destitute to
proceed in forma pauperis. See Adkins v. E.I. DuPont de
Nemours & Co., 335 U.S. 331, 339-40 (1948). To
satisfy the requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a),
“an affidavit [of poverty] is sufficient which states
that one cannot because of his poverty pay or give security
for costs . . . and still be able to provide himself and
dependents with the necessities of life.” Id.
at 339 (internal quotations omitted). At the same time,
however, “the same even-handed care must be employed to
assure that federal funds are not squandered to underwrite,
at public expense, . . . 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). “[T]he greater power to waive
all fees includes the lesser power to set partial
fees.” Olivares v. Marshall, 59 F.3d 109, 111
(9th Cir. 1995).
facts as to the affiant's poverty must be stated
“with some particularity, definiteness, and
certainty.” United States v. McQuade, 647 F.2d
938, 940 (9th Cir. 1981). District courts tend to reject IFP
applications where the applicant can pay the filing fee with
acceptable sacrifice to other expenses. See, e.g.,
Allen v. Kelly, 1995 WL 396860 at *2 (N.D. Cal.
1995) (initially permitting Plaintiff to proceed in forma
pauperis but later requiring him to pay $120 filing fee out
of $900 settlement proceeds); Ali v. Cuyler, 547
F.Supp. 129, 130 (E.D. Pa. 1982) (“[P]laintiff
possessed savings of $450 and the magistrate correctly
determined that this amount was more than sufficient to allow
the plaintiff to pay the filing fee in this action . . .
.”). Permission to proceed IFP is “a matter of
privilege and not right[, ]” Franklin v.
Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1231 (9th Cir. 1984), and “
‘in forma pauperis status may be acquired and lost
during the course of litigation.' ” Baize v.
Lloyd, 2014 WL 6090324, at *1 (S.D. Cal. Nov. 13, 2014)
(quoting Wilson v. Dir. of Div. of Adult Insts.,
2009 WL 311150, at *2 (E.D. Cal. Feb. 9, 2009)).
has satisfied his burden of demonstrating that he is entitled
to IFP status. According to his declaration, he is homeless
and has no income except food stamps and San Diego County
General Relief. (Pl.'s Mot. [Doc. 2] 2-3;
Pl.'s Decl. [Doc. 2-1] ¶ 1.) He has not
been employed in nearly seven years. (See Pl.'s
Mot. [Doc. 2] 2.) He does not have any funds in bank
accounts, nor any other valuable assets. (See Id.
[Doc. 2] 2-3.)
filing fee for an ordinary civil action is $400. Based on the
foregoing, Henderson has demonstrated that he lacks the means
to pay the filing fee without sacrificing the necessities of
life. See Adkins, 335 U.S. at 339-40. Accordingly,
Henderson demonstrates entitlement to IFP status.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
Conclusion & Order
reasons addressed above, the Court GRANTS
Plaintiff's motion to proceed IFP. [Doc. 2.] In light of
the Court's ruling on the IFP motion, the Court orders as
1. The United States Marshal shall serve a copy of the
Complaint filed on August 30, 2017 and an accompanying
summons upon Defendants as directed by Plaintiff on U.S.
Marshal Form 285. All costs of service shall be advanced by
the United States.
2. Defendant shall respond to the Complaint within the time
provided by the applicable provisions of the Federal ...