United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
GREGORY B. WORMUTH United States Magistrate Judge.
MATTER comes before the Court on:
(i) pro se Plaintiff's Application to Proceed in
District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (doc.
(ii) Plaintiff's Complaint (doc. 1-2);
(iii) Plaintiff's Motion for Free Process and Free Court
Fees (doc. 14), filed January 6, 2017;
(iv) Defendants' Motion for More Definite Statement
(doc. 6), filed December 29, 2016;
(v) Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Documentation (doc.
19), filed January 23, 2017;
(vi) Plaintiff's Motion to File by Email (doc.
11), filed January 6, 2017;
(vii) Plaintiff's Motion for Court Appointed Attorney
(doc. 12), filed January 6, 2017; and
(viii) Plaintiff's Motion for Expedited Hearing (doc.
22), filed April 21, 2017.
reasons stated below, the Court will GRANT
Plaintiff's Application, DISMISS
Plaintiff's Complaint without prejudice, DENY AS
MOOT Plaintiff's Motion for Free Process and
Free Court Fees, Defendants' Motion for More Definite
Statement, Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Documentation,
and Plaintiff's Motion for Expedited Hearing, and
DENY Plaintiff's Motion to File by Email
and Plaintiff's Motion for Court Appointed Attorney.
matter stems from various alleged interactions between
Plaintiff and Defendants over the course of a ten-year
period. See doc. 1-2 at 1. Plaintiff, proceeding
pro se, contends that officers employed by Defendant
Chaves County Sheriff's Office have committed a host of
constitutional, federal, and state law violations throughout
this period. See generally id. Plaintiff initially
filed her Complaint in the Fifth Judicial District Court in
Chaves County, New Mexico, on November 28, 2016, and
Defendants removed the case on the basis of federal question
jurisdiction on December 23, 2016. See doc. 1.
Following removal, Defendants moved for an order directing
Plaintiff to file a more definite statement pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e). See doc. 6. Plaintiff filed a
Response thereto attempting to clarify some of the underlying
facts of her Complaint. See doc. 15. In her
response, Plaintiff explained that she needed to obtain
certain documentation from Defendants in order to state her
claims with any greater specificity-i.e., to identify which
officers are alleged to have committed which harms on which
dates within the applicable statute of limitations. See
Id. at 3-6. In addition to her Response, Plaintiff filed
a flurry of other motions seeking (1) to file by email
(doc. 11); (2) the appointment of an attorney by the
Court (doc. 12); (3) to proceed in forma
pauperis (doc. 13); and (4) to proceed without
paying any costs or fees (doc. 14). Plaintiff also
later filed a Motion to Compel Documentation from Defendants
(doc. 19) and a Motion for an Expedited Hearing on
all pending motions (doc. 22). This Order will
address each of these motions.
Application to Proceed in forma pauperis
statute for proceedings in forma pauperis, 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a), provides that the Court may authorize the
commencement of any suit without prepayment of fees by a
person who submits an affidavit that includes (1) a statement
of all assets the person possesses, and (2) that the person
is unable to pay such fees.
district court receives an application for leave to proceed
in forma pauperis, it should examine the papers and determine
if the requirements of [28 U.S.C.] § 1915(a) are
satisfied. If they are, leave should be granted. Thereafter,
if the court finds that the allegations of poverty are untrue
or that the action is frivolous or malicious, it may dismiss
Menefee v. Werholtz, 368 F.App'x 879, 884 (10th
Cir. 2010) (unpublished) (quoting Ragan v.
Cox, 305 F.2d 58, 60 (10th Cir. 1962)). “[A]n
application to proceed in forma pauperis should be
evaluated in light of the applicant's present financial
status.” Scherer v. Kansas, 263 F.App'x
667, 669 (10th Cir. 2008) (unpublished) (citing Holmes v.
Hardy, 852 F.2d 151, 153 (5th Cir. 1988)). “The
statute [allowing a litigant to proceed in forma
pauperis] was intended for the benefit of those too poor
to pay or give security for costs[.]” Adkins v.
E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 335 U.S. 331, 344
(1948). While a litigant need not be “absolutely
destitute, ” nevertheless “an affidavit is
sufficient which states that one cannot because of his
poverty pay or give security for the costs and still be able
to provide himself and dependents with the necessities of
life.” Id. at 339 (quotations omitted).
signed an affidavit declaring that she is unable to pay the
costs of these proceedings and provided the following
information: (1) her average monthly income during the past
12 months was $735.00 and her income amount expected next
month is $735.00; (2) she owns no assets; (3) her monthly
expenses are $860.00; and (4) she has no cash and has $655.00
in a bank account. See generally doc. 13. Because
her monthly expenses exceed her monthly income, the Court
finds that Plaintiff is unable to prepay the fees to initiate
this action. Accordingly, the Court will grant