United States District Court, S.D. Florida
SEYED M. MOGHANI, Plaintiff,
THE REPUBLIC OF EQUADOR, et al., Defendants.
ORDER ON APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA
BLOOM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
CAUSE is before the Court upon Plaintiff's Application to
Proceed in District Court without Prepaying Fees or Costs
(Short Form), ECF No.  (the “Motion”). The
Court has carefully considered the Motion, the record in this
case, and is otherwise fully advised. For the reasons that
follow, Plaintiff's Motion is denied without prejudice.
a pro se litigant, has not paid the required filing
fee and has moved to proceed in forma pauperis. ECF
No. . Fundamental to our system of justice is that the
courthouse doors will not be closed to persons based on their
inability to pay a filing fee. Congress has provided that a
court “may authorize the commencement, prosecution, or
defense of any suit, action or proceeding, civil or criminal,
or appeal therein, without prepayment of fees . . .
therefore, by a person who submits an affidavit that includes
a statement of all assets such [person] possesses that the
person is unable to pay such fees. . . .” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(1); see Martinez v. Kristi Kleaners,
Inc., 364 F.3d 1305, 1306 n.1 (11th Cir. 2004)
(interpreting statute to apply to all persons seeking to
proceed in forma pauperis). Section 1915(a) requires
a determination as to whether “the statements in the
[applicant's] affidavit satisfy the requirement of
poverty.” Watson v. Ault, 525 F.2d 886, 891
(5th Cir. 1976). An applicant's “affidavit will
be held sufficient if it represents that the litigant,
because of his poverty, is unable to pay for the court fees
and costs, and to support and provide necessities for himself
and his dependents.” Martinez, 364 F.3d at
1307; see also Adkins v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours &
Co., 335 U.S. 331, 339 (1948) (In forma
pauperis status is demonstrated when, because of
poverty, one cannot “pay or give security for the costs
and still be able to provide himself and dependents with the
necessities of life.”). The Department of Health and
Human Services (HHS) poverty guidelines are central to an
assessment of an applicant's poverty. See Taylor v.
Supreme Court of New Jersey, 261 Fed.Appx. 399, 401 (3d
Cir. 2008) (using HHS Guidelines as basis for section 1915
determination); Lewis v. Ctr. Mkt., 378 Fed.Appx.
780, 784 (10th Cir. 2010) (affirming use of HHS guidelines);
see also Income Level for Individuals Eligible for
Assistance, 82 Fed. Reg. 10442 (Feb. 13, 2017). Further, the
section 1915 analysis requires “comparing the
applicant's assets and liabilities in order to determine
whether he has satisfied the poverty requirement.”
Thomas v. Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit, 574
Fed.Appx. 916, 917 (11th Cir. 2014). Ultimately, permission
to proceed in forma pauperis is committed to the
sound discretion of the Court. Camp v. Oliver, 798
F.2d 434, 437 (11th Cir. 1986) (“[P]ermission to
proceed [IFP] is committed to the sound discretion of the
Court is unable to determine from Plaintiff's application
submitted to proceed without prepaying fees or costs whether
he satisfies the requirements of poverty. First, the
application appears to be internally inconsistent. It states
that Plaintiff's gross pay or wages are $1, 000.00 per
hour and that his take-home pay or wages are $10.00 per hour.
ECF No.  at 1. Additionally, the application is
incomplete. Plaintiff failed to indicate “Yes” or
“No” the prompt “[a]ny other source”
regarding income received in the past 12 months. Id.
The Court cannot make a determination that Plaintiff
qualifies as indigent under § 1915 to proceed in
forma pauperis based on the application submitted.
it is ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows
1. Plaintiff s Application to Proceed in District Court
without Prepaying Fees or Costs (Short Form), ECF No.
, is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
2. Plaintiff must submit the Application to Proceed In
District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (Long
Form) or pay the required filing fee no later than
June 21, 2019. Failure to comply with this
Order will result in dismissal of this case without prejudice
and without further notice.
 Pursuant to Bonner v. City of
Prichard, 661 F.2d 1206, 1209 (11th Cir. 1981), opinions
of the Fifth Circuit issued prior to October 1, 1981, are