United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
June 8, 2004.
In the Matter of EVA HIGHSMITH and WINFRED N. HIGHSMITH.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: CYNTHIA RUFE, District Judge
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Eva and Winfred Highsmith seek to appeal this Court's April 29,
2004 Order dismissing their appeal from an Order of the United
States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
for failure to comply with Rule 8006 of the Rules of Bankruptcy
Procedure. In connection with their appeal to the Third Circuit
Court of Appeals, appellants seek leave to proceed in forma
Under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 24(a)(1) an
appellant's motion to proceed in forma pauperis must include "an
affidavit that: (A) shows in the detail prescribed by Form 4 of
the Appendix of Forms the party's inability to pay or to give
security for fees and costs; (B) claims an entitlement to
redress; and (C) states the issues that the party intends to
present on appeal." Appellants have satisfied the latter two
requirements, but they have not presented in adequate detail
their ability to pay fees and costs. For example, appellants
represent that the receive "SSI Disability and Pension," but fail
to state the amount they receive. This information is
specifically requested on Form 4 of the Appendix of Forms
(Question No. 1). Appellants also state on the one hand that they
do not receive any income from business, self-employment, rent, etc., but then claim immediately thereafter that they "receive a
total of approximately $2,500.00" without identifying the source
thereof. Appellants claim to have a bank balance of "0," but then
claim that "[m]ostly every month we carry a negative income
deficit of $1,200.00 a month." Appellants claim to own six
properties, described as "Non-Domestic Non-Resident," but fail to
list the value of these properties. Such information is
specifically requested on Form 4 (Question 5). Finally,
appellants assert ownership over an "Indemnity & In-surety Bond . . .
worth an estimated $100,000,000,000.00," and "Copyright
Notice against unauthorized use of my trade name worth
$500,000.00 per unauthorized use."
Given the contradictory and confusing nature of the information
presented in appellants' Motion, the Court cannot conclude that
leave should be granted to proceed in forma pauperis. The Court
will append to this Order a copy of Form 4 so that appellants may
reassert their Motion with the completed Form 4 attached.
AND NOW, this 8th day of June, 2004, for the reasons stated
above, it is hereby ORDERED that the "Motion to File Informa
Pauperis" [Doc. # 6] is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE to appellants'
right to reassert the motion to conform with Federal Rule of
Appellate Procedure 24 within fourteen (14) days of the date of
this Order. The Clerk of Court is directed to append the attached
photocopy of Form 4 to this Order and transmit it to appellants.
It is so ORDERED.
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