United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
HORACE G. FRIEND, et al., Plaintiff,
U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL, et al., Defendant.
ORDER ON APPLICATION FOR IN FORMA PAUPERIS STATUS
DKT. # 1
B. LEIGHTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff Horace G.
Friend's application to proceed in forma
pauperis, supported by his proposed complaint. Dkt. # 1.
He seeks a judicial declaration that he, as well as his three
deceased brothers, are U.S. citizens.
district court may permit indigent litigants to proceed
in forma pauperis upon completion of a proper
affidavit of indigency. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a). The court has broad discretion in resolving the
application, but “the privilege of proceeding in
forma pauperis in civil actions for damages should be
sparingly granted.” Weller v. Dickson, 314
F.2d 598, 600 (9th Cir. 1963), cert. denied 375 U.S.
845 (1963). The standard governing in forma pauperis
eligibility under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1) is
“unable to pay such fees or give security
therefor.” A person is eligible if they are unable to
pay the costs of filing and still provide the necessities of
life. See Rowland v. Cal. Men's Colony, Unit
II Men's Advisory Council, 506 U.S. 194, 203 (1993)
(internal quotations omitted).
addition, a court should “deny leave to proceed in
forma pauperis at the outset if it appears from the face
of the proposed complaint that the action is frivolous or
without merit.” Tripati v. First Nat'l Bank
& Trust, 821 F.2d 1368, 1369 (9th Cir. 1987)
(citations omitted); see also 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(i). An in forma pauperis complaint is
frivolous if “it ha[s] no arguable substance in law or
fact.” Id. (citing Rizzo v. Dawson,
778 F.2d 527, 529 (9th Cir. 1985); see also Franklin v.
Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1228 (9th Cir. 1984). A pro
se Plaintiff's complaint is to be construed
liberally, but like any other complaint it must nevertheless
contain factual assertions sufficient to support a facially
plausible claim for relief. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (citing
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570,
127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). A claim for relief
is facially plausible when “the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Ordinarily,
the Court will permit pro se litigants an opportunity to
amend their complaint in order to state a plausible claim.
See United States v. Corinthian Colleges, 655 F.3d
984, 995 (9th Cir. 2011) (“Dismissal without leave to
amend is improper unless it is clear, upon de novo review,
that the complaint could not be saved by any
Friend states under oath that he has been unemployed since
November of 2018 and has received only $1, 100 in the last
twelve months from a pension. This is sufficient to establish
there are problems with the Friend's complaint that
prevent the Court from granting in forma pauperis
status. First, Friend impermissibly attempts to sue not only
for himself, but also on behalf of his three deceased
brothers, who are also named as plaintiffs. Although a
non-attorney may appear in propria persona in his
own behalf, that privilege is personal to him. McShane v.
United States, 366 F.2d 286, 288 (9th Cir.1966). He has
no authority to appear as an attorney for others than
himself. Russell v. United States, 308 F.2d 78, 79
(9th Cir.1962); Collins v. O'Brien, 208 F.2d 44,
45 (D.C.Cir.1953), cert. denied, 347 U.S. 944, 74
S.Ct. 640, 98 L.Ed. 1092 (1954). This defect must be
as a basis for relief, Friend states that “the current
policy manual of the United States Citizenship Immigration
Service is controlling in this case” and also cites the
Nationality Act of 1940. Dkt. # 1, Ex. 1, at 5. However,
Friend has already appeared before the Ninth Circuit twice
making similar, if not identical, arguments to obtain
citizenship. See Friend v. Holder,714 F.3d 1349
(9th Cir. 2013); Friend v. Reno,172 F.3d 638, 643
(9th Cir. 1999). These rulings ...