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Pugh v. District Attorney Meg Heap

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

October 1, 2019

GERARD J. PUGH, Plaintiff,
v.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY MEG HEAP, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Christopher L. Ray, United States Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff, appearing pro se, has submitted a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Complaint alleging malicious or wrongful prosecution. Doc. 1. He seeks to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP). Doc. 2. The application is deficient. As additional information is required, Plaintiff is DIRECTED to amend his application within 14 days.

         In his application, Plaintiff claims to earn $1, 100 in wages biweekly. Doc. 2 at 1. However, he has not addressed whether he holds other assets, such as savings, real estate, or automobiles. Plaintiff has also identified several debts. Doc. 2 at 2. He has not specified the amount of these debts or their respective monthly payments. He has provided no information regarding other monthly expenses, such as food, shelter, and transportation. Wary of indigency claims where information appears to have been omitted, and cognizant of how easily one may consume a public resource with no financial skin in the game, [1] this Court demands supplemental information from dubious IFP movants. See, e.g., Kareem v. Home Source Rental, 986 F.Supp.2d 1345 (S.D. Ga. 2013); Robbins v. Universal Music Grp., 2013 WL 1146865 at *1 (S.D. Ga. Mar.19, 2013).[2]

         Plaintiff’s application for IFP status omits material information. He, therefore, must properly fill out his application to proceed IFP, additionally, he must disclose[3] the following information within 14 days from the date of this Order:

(1) The identity of the source of the claimed $1, 100 biweekly income;
(2) Whether he has any liquid assets, such as money in cash or bank accounts;
(3) Whether he has any non-liquid assets, such as real property, automobiles, or jewelry;
(4) Any monthly expenses, such as rent, food, transportation, or utilities;
(5) Whether he is financially responsible to support another person; and
(6) The value of loans and their associated monthly payments.

         Providing this information will better illuminate Plaintiff’s true financial condition. In that regard, he must again declare the facts he pleads to be true, and sign his name to that declaration-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 Plaintiff’s convenience. Failure to comply with this directive will result in a recommendation of dismissal on IFP-deficiency grounds alone. Kareem v. Home Source Rental, 2014 WL 24347 at *1 (S.D. Ga. Jan. 2, 2014).

         The Court also notes that the events alleged in the Complaint occurred in 1996. As § 1983 does not provide a statute of limitations, the court looks to the forum state’s general personal injury statute. Owens v. Okure, 488 U.S. 235 (1989). In Georgia, such claims must be filed within two years. O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33 (1982). Absent more recent allegations, or some explanation for why the claims arising out of the earlier events were not pursued at the time, plaintiffs Complaint might be subject to a recommendation of dismissal upon the screening required under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). If plaintiff wishes, he is free to submit an Amended Complaint with his supplemental IFP application. If he concedes that his claims are time-barred, he is also free to do nothing and his Complaint will be dismissed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 41.

         SO ...


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