United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
CALVIN B. JAMES, Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES, Defendant.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
CHRISTOPHER L. RAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
being given multiple opportunities to comply, plaintiff
Calvin James has again inexplicably refused to submit this
Court's form motion to proceed in forma pauperis
(IFP). See doc. 4 (providing James with a copy of
the Court's prisoner IFP form and ordering him to submit
it within 14 days); doc. 6 (providing James with two copies
of the Court's form and ordering him to submit it within
14 days); doc. 8 (providing James with yet more copies of the
Court's forms and ordering him to submit them or risk
dismissal for failure to obey a court order). In lieu of
complying, James filed yet another Amended Complaint and a
fourth handwritten version of the Court's IFP form. Doc.
9-1. In it, again, he fails to set forth the information
required by the Court's form that has been thrice
provided to him, explaining that “if [he is] required
to pay costs of this [he] will not be able to prosecute [his]
case due to lack of funds.” Doc. 9-1. He cites
Fed.R.Civ.P. 5.2 as reason for submitting an IFP application
to absolve him of any need to pay the filing fee. Doc. 9 at
1. That citation does nothing against the clear directive of
the Prison Litigation Reform Act. As explained in the
Court's prior Order:
. . . James is incarcerated. See United States v.
James, CR418-205 (S.D. Ga.) (jury verdict returned
guilty on January 31, 2019). That means he must pay a filing
fee, regardless of his indigency. James (perhaps)
misunderstands that he is governed by the Prison Litigation
Reform Act, Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (PLRA), which
requires all prisoners - even those
who are allowed to proceed IFP - to pay the full
filing fee of $350.00. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
The entire filing fee must be paid even if the suit
is dismissed at the outset because it is frivolous,
malicious, fails to state a claim, or seeks monetary damages
against a defendant who is immune from such relief.
In other words, the barrier to entry is being granted leave
to proceed IFP.1 And to do that, James has to provide
all the information the Court requires. The form is
designed to elicit that information. He has repeatedly
refused to provide it. Giving James the benefit of the doubt
that he simply misunderstands the importance of the
Court's IFP form to the screening of his Complaint, the
Court will give him one final opportunity to comply. The
Court will construe any further failure to provide the
information as a failure to diligently pursue resolution of
this case and will recommend it be dismissed. This Court,
after all, has the inherent authority to prune cases from its
dockets where parties have failed to comply with its Orders.
See L.R. 41(b); see Link v. Wabash R.R.
Co., 370 U.S. 626, 630-31 (1962) (courts have the
inherent authority to dismiss claims for lack of
prosecution); Mingo v. Sugar Cane Growers Co-op, 864
F.2d 101, 102 (11th Cir. 1989); Jones v. Graham, 709
F.2d 1457, 1458 (11th Cir. 1983); Floyd v. United
States, CV491-277 (S.D. Ga. June 10, 1992).
FN 1. Two important points must be underscored. First,
proceeding IFP is a privilege, not an entitlement. See
Rowland v. Cal. Men's Colony, Unit II Men's Advisory
Council, 506 U.S. 194, 198 (1993). And second, courts
have discretion to afford litigants IFP status; it's not
automatic. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1) (courts “may
authorize the commencement” of IFP actions); Denton
v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992); see also
Marceaux v. Democratic Party, 79 Fed.Appx. 185, 186 (6th
Cir. 2003) (no abuse of discretion when court determined
plaintiff could afford to pay the filing fee without undue
hardship because he has no room and board expenses, owns a
car, and spends the $250.00 earned each month selling plasma
on completely discretionary items); Lee v. McDonald's
Corp., 231 F.3d 456, 458 (8th Cir. 2000) (the decision
of whether to grant or deny IFP status under 28 U.S.C. §
1915 is discretionary).
Doc. 8 at 2-3 (footnote omitted).
has, at this point at least four copies of this Court's
form and access through Bulloch County Jail, where he is
being held in federal custody pending sentencing in his
criminal case. He again refuses to comply with the PLRA and
this Court's order, despite its clear and unambiguous
notice that he must do so or face dismissal. James has been
repeatedly warned and willfully refused to prosecute this
action. The case should be DISMISSED without
prejudice for failing to comply with the Court's Order.
report and recommendation (R&R) is submitted to the
district judge assigned to this action, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(B) and this Court's Local Rule 72.3.
Within 14 days of service, any party may file written
objections to this R&R with the Court and serve a copy on
all parties. The document should be captioned
“Objections to Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendations.” Any request for additional time to
file objections should be filed with the Clerk for
consideration by the assigned district judge.
the objections period has ended, the Clerk shall submit this
R&R together with any objections to the assigned district
judge. The district judge will review the magistrate
judge's findings and recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(C). The parties are advised that failure to
timely file objections will result in the waiver of rights on
appeal. 11th Cir. R. 3-1; see Symonett v. V.A. Leasing