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Case 3:13-cv-03075-JRM Document 5 Filed 07/30/13 Page 1 of 3 PageID #: 61







CIVIL NO. 13-3075

CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Commissioner
Social Security Administration



On July 29, 2013, Plaintiff submitted a complaint for filing in this district, together with

a request for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”). ECF Nos. 1, 2. For reasons stated

below, Plaintiff’s motion is denied.

Federal courts have the statutory authority to permit the commencement of a civil action

without prepayment of fees or costs by a person who submits an affidavit that she is unable to

pay such costs or give security therefor. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). The purpose of 28 U.S.C. § 1915

is to ensure that indigent litigants have an entre, not a barrier, to the federal courts. In re

Williamson, 786 F.2d 1336, 1338 (8th Cir. 1986) (quoting Souder v. McGuire, 516 F.2d 820, 823

(3rd Cir. 1975)). Although a claimant need not be “completely destitute” to take advantage of

the IFP statute, he or she must show that paying the filing fee would result in an undue financial

hardship. Williamson, 786 F.2d at 1338.

A number of courts have recognized that, in making an IFP determination, it is proper

to consider whether the party claiming indigent status receives financial support from his or her

spouse or family. See Helland v. St. Mary’s Duluth Clinic Health Sys., 2010 WL 502781, at *1

n.1 (D. Minn. Feb. 5, 2010); Pifer v. Astrue, 2009 WL 3379021 at *3 (N.D. W.Va. Oct. 16,

2009); Fridman v. City of New York, 195 F. Supp. 2d 534, 537 (S.D.N.Y. 2002) (quoting

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Case 3:13-cv-03075-JRM Document 5 Filed 07/30/13 Page 2 of 3 PageID #: 62

Williams v. Spencer, 455 F. Supp. 205, 208-09 (D. Md. 1978)); Assaad-Faltas v. University of

South Carolina, 971 F. Supp. 985, 990 n. 9 (D.S.C. 1997); Lee v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 1993

WL 316756 at *3 (N.D. Ind. August 18, 1993).

Plaintiff’s IFP application reveals that she is not employed, but her husband works and

receives approximately $57,200.00 annually from his employment. Plaintiff and her husband

own four vehicles, farm equipment, a boat, a camper, a trailer, cattle, 150 acres of land, and their

home, which sits on two acres of land. Plaintiff’s expenses are as follows: $15,000.00 annually

for livestock; $8,267.00 annually for farm loan; $439.98 monthly for hay baler, brush hog, and

cutter; $4,100.00 annually for hay rake; $515.62 monthly for tractor; $210.00 monthly for flatbed

trailer; $622.86 monthly for home; $200.00 monthly for electricity; $550.00 monthly for fuel

bill; $30.00 monthly for satellite television; $70.00 monthly for home phone; $90.00 monthly

for cell phones; $1,100.00 annually for heat; $800.00 annually for taxes; $1,400.00 annually for

home insurance; $157.00 monthly for car insurance; $110.00 annually for farm equipment

insurance; $6,000.00 annually for cattle feed; $500.00 monthly for groceries, $25.00-$30.00

monthly for personal items and toiletries; $250.00 monthly for credit card payments; $100.00

monthly for medical bills; and $20.00-$60.00 monthly for prescriptions. Plaintiff has no


Here, Plaintiff is by no means destitute. She and her husband own extensive property and

receive approximately $4,767.00 monthly from his employment, which is well above the income

of most IFP claimants. Plaintiff has not shown that her assets, including her husband’s income,

are insufficient to allow her to pay the filing fee for this action, nor has she alleged that her

husband has denied access to such funds. See Lee v. McDonald’s Corp., 231 F.3d 456, 458-459


(Rev. 8/82)

Case 3:13-cv-03075-JRM Document 5 Filed 07/30/13 Page 3 of 3 PageID #: 63

(8th Cir. 2000). As such, Plaintiff has not shown that paying the one-time filing fee would create

an undue financial hardship. For these reasons, the undersigned finds that a waiver of the filing

fee would be inappropriate in this instance.

Accordingly, Plaintiff’s motion for leave to proceed IFP is DENIED. Plaintiff is directed

to tender the filing fee of $400.00 by August 29, 2013. Should Plaintiff fail to comply within

the required period of time, her complaint will become subject to summary dismissal for failure

to obey a court order.

IT IS SO ORDERED this 30 day of July 2013.


/s/ J. Marschewski


(Rev. 8/82)