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Parker v. Pennstar Bank

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


September 10, 2010

FLORENCE R. PARKER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PENNSTAR BANK, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Caputo

MEMORANDUM

When parties to district court actions want to pursue their appeals in forma pauperis, Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 24 requires that they submit an affidavit showing their inability to pay. In the present case, the plaintiff moves for in forma pauperis status but fails to meet the requirements of Rule 24. For this reason, the motion will be denied. Also before the Court is the defendants' motion to strike or deny the plaintiff's in forma pauperis application. Because the petitioner's motion will be denied, the defendants' motion will be granted.

BACKGROUND

Pro se plaintiff Florence Parker is appealing the dismissal of her complaint. Ms. Parker filed with this Court what she purports to be a motion to appeal in forma pauperis.*fn1

(Doc. 189.) She accompanied her motion with an affidavit describing her financial situation. (Doc. 190.) She noted that she is employed and earns $18.75 per hour, but has not worked or received a paycheck since June 9, 2010, due to lack of available work. (Id. At 3.) She stated that she owns a vehicle and real estate, estimated the value of her real estate, and noted that her grandson depends on her for support.

Defendants Pennstar Bank et al. (collectively "Pennstar") oppose her motion. (Doc. 193). Pennstar objects on two grounds: first, Ms. Parker fails to comply with court rules, and second, she is estopped from claiming she has not received pay because her bankruptcy filings state otherwise.

ANALYSIS

The Court will review Ms. Parker's motion to proceed in forma pauperis in accordance with Rule 24(a)(1) of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. This rule requires that a party wishing to proceed in forma pauperis file a motion in the district court, with 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." FED. R. APP. P. 24(a)(1).

Form 4 sets forth in great detail the financial situations of parties moving to proceed in forma pauperis. The parties must complete an extensive form detailing all sources of income. Additionally, they must give their employment history and their spouse's. All assets and their estimated values must be listed. Furthermore, all monthly family expenses must be carefully delineated.

Ms. Parker failed to describe her monthly expenses, her employment history, and the value of any assets other than her real estate. Even construing her motion liberally in accordance with her pro se status, see United States v. Miller, 197 F.3d 644, 648 (3d Cir. 1999), the Court finds that Ms. Parker has not shown "in the detail prescribed by Form 4 of the Appendix of Forms [her] inability to pay" under Rule 24(a)(1)(A). Because Ms. Parker fails to meet this requirement, her motion to proceed in forma pauperis will be denied.

Because Ms. Parker fails to meet Rule 24's threshold requirements, the Court does not reach the issues raised by Pennstar's brief in opposition. Pennstar's motion to strike or deny Ms. Parker's motion will be granted.

CONCLUSION

Ms. Parker's motion to proceed in forma pauperis, (Doc. 189), will be DENIED, and Pennstar's motion to strike or deny Ms. Parker's motion, (Doc. 193), will be GRANTED. An order to this effect follows.

ORDER

NOW, this 10th day of September, 2010, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's application to appeal in forma pauperis (Doc. 189) is DENIED, and Defendants' motion to deny or strike (Doc. 193) is GRANTED.

A. Richard Caputo United States District Judge


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