The opinion of the court was delivered by: STEWART DALZELL, District Judge
Plaintiff, an inmate at SCI-Graterford, seeks to bring a civil
action in forma pauperis,*fn1 without prepayment of
fees or security therefor, asserting claims pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Pub.L. No.
104-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (April 26, 1996) (the "Act"), which
amends 28 U.S.C. § 1915, establishes certain financial
requirements for prisoners who are attempting to bring a civil
action or file an appeal in forma pauperis.
Under the Act, a prisoner bringing a civil action in forma
pauperis must pay the full amount of the $150 filing fee. Pub.
L. No. 104-134 § 804(a)(3). The Act requires a prisoner seeking
to proceed in forma pauperis to submit a certified copy of
his inmate trust fund account statement for the 6-month period
immediately preceding the filing of his complaint so that the
Court can determine how the $150 filing fee will be paid. §
804(a)(1). The prisoner must obtain this statement from the
appropriate official of each prison at which he was or is confined. Id. The Court must then "assess and, when funds
exist, collect, as a partial payment of any court fees required
by law, an initial partial filing fee of 20 percent of the
greater of (A) the average monthly deposits to the prisoner's
account; or (B) the average monthly balance in the prisoner's
account for the 6-month period immediately preceding the filing
of the complaint. . . ."*fn2 § 804(a)(3).
Plaintiff's inmate trust fund account statement for the
six-month period immediately preceding the filing of his
complaint shows average monthly deposits of $26.21, average
monthly balances of $33.18, and a current balance of $.70. Based
upon this financial information, an initial partial filing fee of
$6.64 is assessed. The Superintendent or other appropriate
official at SCI-Graterford, or at any prison at which plaintiff
may be incarcerated, will be directed to deduct $6.64 from
plaintiff's prison account, when such funds become available, and
forward that amount to the Clerk of the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Thereafter, each
time that the balance in plaintiff's prison account exceeds $10,
an amount no greater than 20 percent of the money credited to
plaintiff's account during the preceding month will be deducted
and forwarded to the Clerk of Court until the filing fee is paid. Plaintiff may not have known when he brought this action that
he must pay the filing fee, and that even if the full filing fee,
or any part of it, has been paid, the Court must dismiss the case
if it finds that the action is: (1) frivolous or malicious; (2)
fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (3)
seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. § 804(5). If the Court dismisses the case for any of
these reasons, the Act does not permit the prisoner to get his
filing fee back.
Plaintiff is informed that a private party such as Sony
Electronics, Inc., may not be sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Therefore, if plaintiff chooses to proceed with this civil rights
action, his complaint will be subject to dismissal and he will be
liable for payment of the $150 filing fee.
We will give plaintiff twenty (20) days from the date of this
order to decide whether he wants to proceed with this case. If by
that time, plaintiff decides not to proceed with the case, he
need not pay the $150 filing fee.
For the foregoing reasons, it is, this day of July, 2004,
hereby ORDERED that:
1. The petition is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE to its reassertion
in accordance with the terms of this order;
2. If plaintiff files with the Court within twenty (20) days
from the date of this order a notice that he wishes to proceed
with this action and thereby obligate himself to pay the $150
filing fee, this action will be reinstated; ...