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Janet Johnson v. Commercial Acceptance Company; John Does 1-10; and Xyz Corporation

April 13, 2011

JANET JOHNSON, PLAINTIFF
v.
COMMERCIAL ACCEPTANCE COMPANY; JOHN DOES 1-10; AND XYZ CORPORATION DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: (Chief Judge Kane)

MEMORANDUM

Before the Court is Plaintiff Janet Johnson's application to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. No. 2.) For the reasons that follow, the Court will grant Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.

I. DISCUSSION

A. Proceedings In Forma Pauperis

The federal in forma pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915, "is designed to ensure that indigent litigants have meaningful access to the federal courts." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989) (citation omitted). Leave to proceed in forma pauperis is based upon a showing of indigence. Deutsch v. United States, 67 F.3d 1080, 1085 n.5 (3d Cir. 1995) (citing Roman v. Jeffes, 904 F.2d 192, 194 n.1 (3d Cir. 1990)). A petitioner seeking leave must file an affidavit of poverty with the court, disclosing every source of income, financial account, and valuable property, as well as the amount of any financial support of dependent persons. The court then conducts a thorough review of the affidavit and, provided it is satisfied that the petitioner is without sufficient resources to pay the costs and fees of the proceeding, grants leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Id.

In her affidavit, Plaintiff avers that she is currently unemployed. (Doc. No. 2.) She indicates that she owns a house valued at $55,000 with a mortgage balance of $50,000 and has a savings account with a balance of less than $500.00. (Id.) Plaintiff also owns a 2004 Pontiac with a lien held by Wells Fargo for approximately $4,700.00. (Id.) In addition, Plaintiff receives $969.00 a month in Social Security. (Id.) Based on these facts, the Court finds that Plaintiff is without sufficient resources to pay the costs and fees of the proceeding. Accordingly, the Court will grant Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.

B. Merits Analysis Under 1915(e)(2)

Having determined that Plaintiff is entitled to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court is next required to assess the sufficiency of Plaintiff's complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Section 1915(e)(2) states:

Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that --

(A) the allegation of poverty is untrue; or

(B) the action or appeal --

(i) is frivolous or malicious;

(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or

(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune ...


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