Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Xander v. Chaves County Sheriff's Office

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

June 9, 2017

CHASE XANDER, Plaintiff,
v.
CHAVES COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          GREGORY B. WORMUTH United States Magistrate Judge.

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on:

(i) pro se Plaintiff's Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (doc. 13);
(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.

         For the 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.

         I. Background

         This 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.

         II. Analysis

         A. Application to Proceed in forma pauperis

         The 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.

         When a 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 the case[.]

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).

         Plaintiff 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 Plaintiff's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.