United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
December 9, 2013
RASHAD KAREEM, Plaintiff,
HOME SOURCE RENTAL, Defendant
Rashad Kareem, Plaintiff, Pro se, Pooler, GA.
G.R. Smith, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Proceeding pro se, Rashad Kareem has filed a form complaint against Home Source Rental (HSR). Doc. 1. He cites no particular remedy but, liberally construed, it appears that he wants to recover damages from HSR for having him falsely arrested on theft and conversion charges. Id. at 3-4. Kareem, who lists a non-prison address, id. at 5, also seeks leave to file his case in forma pauperis (IFP). Doc. 3.
Other than listing a " 1997 Jeep," he claims complete destitution, plus four dependents. Doc. 3 at 1-2. The Court ordinarily grants IFP status if a plaintiff demonstrates that he cannot, because of his poverty, afford to pay the costs of litigation and still provide for himself and any dependents. 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Complete destitution need not be shown, Adkins v. E.I. Dupont de Nemours, 335 U.S. 331, 339, 69 S.Ct. 85, 93 L.Ed. 43 (1948), but if one can pay the Court's filing fee without undue hardship then IFP will be denied. Id.; Martinez v. Kristi Kleaners, Inc., 364 F.3d 1305, 1307 (11th Cir. 2004) (an applicant must show an inability " to pay for the court fees and costs, and to support and provide necessities for himself and his dependents." ).
It undeniably costs money to live. So it is simply hard to believe that Kareem, supporting four dependents, subsists on zero income, zero savings, and a single asset. Doc. 3. Wary of such claims and cognizant of how easy one may consume a public resource with no financial skin in the game,  the Court has demanded supplemental information from dubious IFP movants. See, e.g., Robbins v. Universal Music Group, CV412-292, 2013 WL 1146865 at * 1 (S.D. Ga. Mar. 19, 2013).
To that end, it tolerates no lies. Ross v. Fogam, CV411-114, 2011 WL 2516221 at * 1 (S.D. Ga. June 23, 2011) (" Ross, a convicted criminal, chose to burden this Court with falsehoods, not honesty. The Court thus rejects Ross's show cause explanation, as it is clear that he
purposefully chose to disguise his filing history and financial status." ); Johnson v. Chisolm, CV411-127, 2011 WL 3319872 at * 1 n. 3 (S.D. Ga. Aug. 1, 2011) (" This Court does not hesitate to invoke dismissal and other sanctions against inmates who lie to or otherwise deceive this Court." ); see also Moss v. Premiere Credit of North America, LLC, 12-15253-E, doc. 54, (11th Cir. Mar. 6, 2013) (Eleventh Circuit Order: " Moss's [IFP on appeal] motion is DENIED because her allegation of poverty appears to be untrue in light of her financial affidavit and filings in the district court." ).
Given the totality of the circumstances, it will do likewise here. Therefore, within 14 days from the date of this Order, Kareem shall disclose to the Court the following information:
(1) What he spends each month for basic living expenses such as food, clothing, shelter, and utilities, and the dollar value of any public or private assistance he may receive;
(2) Where he gets the money to pay for those expenses (include all " off-the-books" income, whether in cash or in-kind);
(3) Whether he owns any means of transportation and, if he does not, whether he has regular access to same, as owned by another (including a rental company);
(4) Whether he possesses a cellular telephone, TV set, and any home electronics equipment;
(5) Whether he has any credit or debit cards;
(6) Whether he is the account owner, or has signature power, as to any accounts with a bank or other financial institution;
(7) Whether he anticipates any future income within the next year;
(8) A list of any other cases showing an indigency-based, filing fee reduction or waiver granted by any other court (include the full case name, case number and the name of the court granting same).
Providing this information will answer the obvious question that arises here: If Kareem has no money at all, how does he live? Finally, plaintiff must again declare the facts he pleads to be true under penalty of perjury. If he does not use a preprinted IFP form to respond (hence, if he uses a blank sheet of paper), he must insert this above his signature: " I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date)." 28 U.S.C. § 1746(1). The Clerk is DIRECTED to serve with this Order a blank IFP form for Kareem's convenience.