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Carroll v. San Diego County Jail Sheriff

United States District Court, S.D. California

December 9, 2019

ABONILICO LAMAR CARROLL, Booking #19749688, Plaintiffs,
v.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY JAIL SHERIFF, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(A) AND DISMISSING CIVIL ACTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE FOR FAILING TO PREPAY FILING FEES REQUIRED BY 28 U.S.C. § 1914(A) [ECF NO. 2]

          HON. ANTHONY J. BATTAGLIA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Abonilico Lamar Carroll, while detained at the San Diego Central Jail (“SDCJ”) and proceeding pro se, has filed a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Compl, ECF No. 1. Plaintiff seeks $17 million in general and punitive damages based on claims of having been unlawfully strip searched at the SDCJ on September 19, 2019. Id. at 1‒2, 4‒6, 8.

         He has not prepaid the $400 civil filing fee required by 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a), but instead has filed a Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (“IFP”) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) (ECF No. 2).

         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 $400. See 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a).[1] An 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 Rodriguez v. Cook, 169 F.3d 1176, 1177 (9th Cir. 1999). However, if the plaintiff is a prisoner at the time of filing, he may be granted leave to proceed IFP, but he nevertheless remains obligated to pay the entire fee in “increments, ” see Williams v. Paramo, 775 F.3d 1182, 1185 (9th Cir. 2015), regardless of whether his case is ultimately dismissed. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) & (2); Taylor v. Delatoore, 281 F.3d 844, 847 (9th Cir. 2002). A “prisoner” is defined as “any person” who at the time of filing is “incarcerated or detained in any facility who is accused of, convicted of, sentenced for, or adjudicated delinquent for, violations of criminal law or the terms or conditions of parole, probation, pretrial release, or diversionary program.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(h); Taylor, 281 F.3d at 847.

         Prisoners seeking leave to proceed IFP must also submit a “certified copy of the[ir] 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). 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), (4); Taylor, 281 F.3d at 850. After, the institution having custody of the prisoner collects subsequent payments, assessed at 20% of the preceding month's income, in any month in which his account exceeds $10, and forwards them to the Court until the entire filing fee is paid. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).

         While Plaintiff has filed a Motion to Proceed IFP pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), he has not attached a certified copy of his SDCJ Inmate Trust Account Activity Report for the 6-month period immediately preceding the filing of his Complaint. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2); S.D. Cal. CivLR 3.2. Section 1915(a)(2) clearly requires that prisoners “seeking to bring a civil action . . . without prepayment of fees . . . shall 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) (emphasis added).

         Without his certified trust account statements, the Court is unable to assess the appropriate amount of the initial filing fee which is statutorily required to initiate the prosecution of Plaintiff's case. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).

         II. Conclusion and Order

         For this reason, IT IS ORDERED that:

         (1) Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed IFP (ECF No. 2) is DENIED and the action is DISMISSED without prejudice for failure to prepay the $400 filing fee required by 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a).

         (2) Plaintiff is GRANTED forty-five (45) days from the date of this Order in which to re-open his case by either: (1) paying the entire $400 statutory and administrative filing fee in one lump-sum, or (2) filing a renewed Motion to Proceed IFP, which includes a prison certificate and/or a certified copy of his SDCJ Inmate Trust Account Statement for the 6-month period preceding the filing of his Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2) and S.D. Cal. CivLR 3.2(b).

         (3) The Clerk of the Court is DIRECTED to provide Plaintiff with a Court-approved form “Motion and Declaration in Support of Motion to Proceed IFP” for his use and convenience. But if Plaintiff neither pays the $400 filing fee in full, nor sufficiently completes and files a renewed Motion to Proceed IFP, together with a certified copy of his 6-month trust account statements within 45 days, this case will remain dismissed without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a), and without any further Order of the Court.[1]

         IT ...


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