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Campbell v. Berryhill

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division

May 30, 2017

GERALD CARMICHEAL CAMPBELL, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, [1] Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          ORDER

         Proceeding pro se, Gerald Campbell has filed a complaint asking the Court to review the denial of his social security disability claim. Doc. 1. He also seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP). Doc. 2.

         Campbell declares that he receives no take-home pay, wages, or other benefits and does not disclose any rent, mortgage, or homeowners association fees, yet has monthly cable, phone, and utility bills, as well as numerous pending medical debts. Doc. 2. These inconsistencies raise questions about the thoroughness of the information contained in his IFP application.

         Wary of such indigency claims and cognizant of how easily one may consume a public resource with no financial skin in the game, [2] this Court demands supplemental information from dubious IFP movants. See, e.g., Kareem v. Home Source Rental, 986 F.Supp.2d 1345, 1346-48 (S.D. Ga. 2013); Robbins v. Universal Music Group, 2013 WL 1146865 at * 1 (S.D. Ga. Mar. 19, 2013).[3] Given the totality of the circumstances, it will do likewise here.[4] Therefore, within 14 days from the date this Order is filed, Campbell shall disclose to the Court the following information:

(1) A true, correct, and complete statement of all income, Social Security benefits, or other government assistance he or his spouse is now receiving;
(2) 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;
(3) Where he gets the money to pay for those expenses (include all “off-the-books” income, whether in cash or in-kind);
(4) 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);
(5) Whether he possesses a cellular telephone, TV set, and any home electronics equipment (include estimated value and related carrying expenses, such as carrier and subscription fees);
(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); and
(9) The amount of any equity he has in any real property, including his present dwelling (the Court notes the HOA fees mentioned supra).

         Answering these points will better illuminate plaintiff's true financial condition.[5] The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to include a blank IFP application (AO 240 (Rev. 01/09)) when serving him with this Order.[6] Failure to comply with this directive will result in a recommendation of dismissal. See Kareem, 2014 WL 24347 at * 1.

         SO ...


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