United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
RICHARD CAPUTO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss Mr.
Jones' Amended Complaint due to his failure to pay the
filing fee in this case or receive permission from the Court
to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF No. 57.)
For the following reasons, the Court will grant
Defendants' motion and direct Mr. Jones to pay the $400
filing fee or file the appropriate documents seeking in
forma pauperis status.
December 2014, while housed at the prison camp on the grounds
of FCI-Loretto, Mr. Jones filed a Bivens
action in the United States District Court for
the Western District of Pennsylvania. (ECF No. 1-3.)
In his Complaint Mr. Jones alleged that seven individuals
employed at USP-Lewisburg conspired, harassed, intimidated,
and retaliated against him after he filed administrative
remedies. He also claimed two FCI-Loretto employees
improperly removed him from his job and denied him an
emergency furlough after placing him in “FRP refuse
status.” (Id.) Mr. Jones filed an application
to proceed in forma pauperis as well as an
Authorization allow prison officials to withdraw funds from
his prison account to pay the filing fee. (ECF Nos.
1-1, 3, and 5.) On February 2,
2015, the Court granted Mr. Jones' motion to proceed
in forma pauperis and proceeded to screen the
Complaint. (ECF No. 6.)
4, 2015, by Report and Recommendation, Chief Magistrate Judge
Maureen P. Kelly recommended severing and transferring the
claims against the USP-Lewisburg to this Court. (ECF No.
15.) On July 8, 2015, District Judge Kim R. Gibson
adopted the unopposed Report and Recommendation and
transferred all claims against the USP-Lewisburg defendants
to this Court. (ECF No. 17.)
November 9, 2015, the Honorable Judge Conaboy directed
service of the Complaint on the USP-Lewisburg defendants
noting that “[a]n in forma pauperis
application filed by Plaintiff was previously granted by the
Western District.” (ECF No. 23.) Defendants
then moved to dismiss the Complaint based on Mr. Jones'
failure to obtain leave to proceed in forma pauperis
from the Court or pay the filing fee in this matter. (ECF No.
31.) Defendants also sought a stay of proceedings
pending the disposition of their motion to dismiss. (ECF No.
April 2016 Mr. Jones requested legal advice from the Clerk of
Court as to whether he needed to pay a second filing fee
based on the Western District's transfer of claims
against the USP-Lewisburg defendants to this Court. (ECF No.
35.) On December 9, 2016, the Clerk of Court's
Office sent Mr. Jones an application to proceed in
forma pauperis and Authorization form. (ECF No.
41.) In late 2018, this matter was reassigned to the
undersigned and Magistrate Martin C. Carlson. (ECF No.
January 2019, Magistrate Judge Carlson dismissed
Defendants' motion to dismiss without prejudice but
stayed the proceedings after Mr. Jones filed an Amended
Complaint. (ECF Nos. 39 and 48.) Mr. Jones
then clarified to the Court that his recent filing was a
supplement to his original complaint. (ECF No. 49.)
On February 4, 2019, the Court lifted the stay and directed
Mr. Jones to file a single all-inclusive amended complaint.
(ECF No. 50.) Mr. Jones filed an Amended Complaint
on February 28, 2019, naming the original Defendants and
several new Defendants. (ECF No. 51.) Following
service of the new Defendants, the Defendants filed a motion
to dismiss the Amended Complaint again raising Mr. Jones'
failure to pay the filing fee in this matter or receive
permission from the Court to proceed in forma
pauperis. (ECF No. 57.) Defendants also refiled
their motion to stay the proceedings pending their motion to
dismiss. (ECF No. 59.) The Court granted
Defendants' motion to stay on June 11, 2019. (ECF No.
date, Mr. Jones has not filed a brief in opposition to
Defendants' motion to dismiss. He has not paid the filing
fee or sought leave to proceed in forma pauperis in
this matter. Also, the Court notes that the Bureau of Prisons
released Mr. Jones from custody on October 11, 2019. See
https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/(Find by Number, search
09702-058; last visited December 6, 2019). Mr. Jones'
last known address was in Brooklyn, New York. (ECF No.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1914, “[t]he clerk of each district
court shall require the parties institution any civil action,
suit or proceeding in court, whether by original process,
removal or otherwise, to pay a filing fee of $350, except
that on application for a writ of habeas corpus the filing
fee shall be $5.” 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). A
complaint is “lodged” but not “filed”
with the Court until the plaintiff either pays the filing fee
or has received permission to proceed in forma
pauperis. Brown v. Sage, 941 F.3d 655, 662 (3d
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) requires all prisoners
who bring a civil action to pay the full filing
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Thus, to
proceed with a civil action, a prisoner-plaintiff must pay
the $400.00 filing fee or request leave to proceed
in forma pauperis and submit the affidavit
and trust account statement required by 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a). An indigent prisoner granted leave to proceed in
forma pauperis still must pay the filing fee, but in
installments. The amount of the initial payment depends on
the average deposits to and balance in the prisoner's
account at the time of filing the action.
The court shall assess and, when funds exist, collect, as a
partial payment of any court fees required by law, an initial
partial filing ...