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Keavney v. County of San Diego

United States District Court, S.D. California

December 5, 2019

MICHAEL RICHARD KEAVNEY, Booking #17104761, Plaintiffs,
v.
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING CIVIL ACTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE FOR FAILING TO PAY FILING FEE REQUIRED BY 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a) AND/OR FAILING TO MOVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)

          Hon. Anthony J. Battaglia United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Michael Richard Keavney, while incarcerated at the San Diego Central Jail (“SDCJ”) and proceeding pro se, has filed a civil right complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Compl, ECF No. 1. Plaintiff alleges the County of San Diego and two Tri‒City Hospital doctors violated his constitutional rights by ignoring his pleas for medical attention in December 2018. Id. at 1‒5. He seeks $1 million in compensatory and punitive damages. Id. at 7. He has not prepaid the $400 civil filing fee required by 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a), however, and has not filed a Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (“IFP”) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).

         I. Failure to Pay Filing Fee or Request IFP Status

         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 $400. See 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). The action may proceed despite a plaintiff's failure to prepay the entire fee only if he is granted leave to proceed IFP pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). See Andrews v. Cervantes, 493 F.3d 1047, 1051 (9th Cir. 2007); Rodriguez v. Cook, 169 F.3d 1176, 1177 (9th Cir. 1999). However, the Prison Litigation Reform Act's (“PLRA”) amendments to § 1915 require that all prisoners who proceed IFP to pay the entire fee in “increments” or “installments, ” Bruce v. Samuels, __ U.S. __, 136 S.Ct. 627, 629 (2016); Williams v. Paramo, 775 F.3d 1182, 1185 (9th Cir. 2015), and regardless of whether their action is ultimately dismissed. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) & (2); Taylor v. Delatoore, 281 F.3d 844, 847 (9th Cir. 2002).

         Section 1915(a)(2) requires all persons seeking to proceed without full prepayment of fees to file an affidavit that includes a statement of all assets possessed and demonstrates an inability to pay. See Escobedo v. Applebees, 787 F.3d 1226, 1234 (9th Cir. 2015). In support of this affidavit, the PLRA also requires prisoners to submit a “certified copy of the trust fund account statement (or institutional equivalent) for ... the 6-month period immediately preceding the filing of the complaint.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2); Andrews v. King, 398 F.3d 1113, 1119 (9th Cir. 2005). From the certified trust account statement, the Court assesses 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. § 1915(b)(1); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(4). The institution having custody of the prisoner then collects subsequent payments, assessed at 20% of the preceding month's income, in any month in which his account exceeds $10, and forwards those payments to the Court until the entire filing fee is paid. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2); Bruce, 136 S.Ct. at 629.

         Because Plaintiff has neither paid the filing fee required by 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a) to commence a civil action, nor filed a properly supported Motion to Proceed IFP pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), his case cannot yet proceed. See 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a); Andrews, 493 F.3d at 1051.

         II. Conclusion and Order

         Accordingly, the Court:

(1) DISMISSES this civil action without prejudice based on Plaintiffs failure to pay the $400 civil filing and administrative fee or to submit a Motion to Proceed IFP pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914(a) and 1915(a).
(2) GRANTS Plaintiff forty-five (45) days leave from the date this Order is filed to: (a) prepay the entire $400 civil filing and administrative fee in full; or (b) complete and file a Motion to Proceed IFP which includes a certified copy of his SDCJ trust account statements for the 6-month period preceding the filing of his Complaint. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2); S.D. Cal. CivLR 3.2(b).
(3) DIRECTS the Clerk of the Court to provide Plaintiff with the Court's approved form “Motion and Declaration in Support of Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis.”[1] If Plaintiff fails to either prepay the $400 civil filing fee or fully complete and submit the enclosed Motion to Proceed IFP within 45 days, this action will remain dismissed without prejudice based on his failure to satisfy 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a)'s fee requirement and without further Order of the Court.

         IT IS SO ORDERED.

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