United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
RUBY E. KETSCHAU, Plaintiff,
DEREK BYRNE and CHRIS RIDEN, Defendants.
ORDER ON MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS DKT. #
B. Leighton, United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff Ketschau's Motion
for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. Dkt. # 1.
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).
Court allows litigants to proceed in forma pauperis
only when they have sufficiently demonstrated an inability to
pay the filing fee. This generally includes incarcerated
individuals with no assets and persons who are unemployed and
dependent on government assistance. See, e.g., Ilagan v.
McDonald, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79889, at *2 (D. Nev.
June 16, 2016) (granting petition based on unemployment and
zero income); Reed v. Martinez, 2015 U.S. Dist.
LEXIS 80629, at *1, 2015 WL 3821514 (D. Nev. June 19, 2015)
(granting petition for incarcerated individual on condition
that applicant provides monthly payments towards filing fee).
It does not include those whose access to the court system is
not blocked by their financial constraints, but rather are in
a position of having to weigh the financial constraints
pursuing a case imposes. See Sears, Roebuck & Co. v.
Charles W. Sears Real Estate, Inc., 686 F.Supp. 385, 388
(N.D. N.Y.), aff'd, 865 F.2d 22 (2d Cir. 1988)
(denying petition to proceed IFP because petitioner and his
wife had a combined annual income of between $34, 000 and
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
Ketschau demonstrates that her indigent status qualifies her
to proceed in forma pauperis. In her application, Ketschau
states that her only source of income is disability benefits
and that she has no money saved.
Ketschau's Motion nonetheless must be denied because her
proposed complaint does not plausibly state a claim for
relief. She alleges claims under the Fifth, Eighth, Ninth and
Fourteenth Amendments against the two individual defendants.
Her only description of the facts surrounding her case is
“Faked a appeal process to defraud Ruby Ketschau,
” for which she requests 75 million dollars. Dkt. # 1
at 5. She also refers the reader to the
“attachments” to her proposed complaint, which
are great in number but do not elucidate what her claim is
about. In short, the Court has no idea what happened to
Ketschau or why her federal rights were violated and will not
wade through a plethora of documents to stitch together a
theory. Ketschau therefore does not state a plausible claim
Motion is DENIED. Ketschau shall file an amended complaint,
or pay the court's filing fee, within thirty days of this
Order. Any amended complaint should articulate the
“who, what, when, where, and why” of her claim by
developing its factual content (such as how and why she was
defrauded). If Ketschau does not ...