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Pumpkinseed v. Pennington County Jail

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Western Division

September 10, 2019

RONALD DEAN PUMPKINSEED, Plaintiff,
v.
PENNINGTON COUNTY JAIL, Defendant.

          ORDER

          JEFFREY L. VIKEN CHIEF JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Ronald Dean Pumpkinseed is an inmate at the Pennington County Jail in Rapid City, South Dakota. Plaintiff filed a pro se civil rights lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. (Dockets 1 & 2). The court grants plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis but dismisses his complaint.

         I. In Forma Pauperis Status

         Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), a prisoner who “brings a civil action or files an appeal in forma pauperis . . . shall be required to pay the full amount of a filing fee.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). The court may, however, accept partial payment of the initial filing fee where appropriate. Therefore, “'[w]hen an inmate seeks pauper status, the only issue is whether the inmate pays the entire fee at the initiation of the proceedings or over a period of time under an installment plan.'” Henderson v. Norris, 129 F.3d 481, 483 (8th Cir. 1997) (quoting McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997)).

         The initial partial filing fee that accompanies an installment plan is calculated according to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1), which requires a payment 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 or notice of appeal. Plaintiff reported average monthly deposits to his prisoner trust account of $15.17 and an average monthly balance of $.35. (Docket 5). Based on this information, the court grants plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis provided he pays an initial partial filing fee of $3.03, which is 20 percent of $15.17. Plaintiff must pay this initial partial filing fee by October 11, 2019.

         In addition to the initial partial filing fee, plaintiff must “make monthly payments of 20 percent of the preceding month's income credited to the prisoner's account.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). The statute places the burden on the prisoner's institution to collect the additional monthly payments and forward them to the court as follows:

After payment of the initial partial filing fee, the prisoner shall be required to make monthly payments of 20 percent of the preceding month's income credited to the prisoner's account. The agency having custody of the prisoner shall forward payments from the prisoner's account to the clerk of the court each time the amount in the account exceeds $10 until the filing fees are paid.

28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). Therefore, after payment in full of the initial partial filing fee, the remaining installments will be collected pursuant to this procedure.

         The Clerk of Court will send a copy of this order to the appropriate financial official at plaintiff's institution. Plaintiff will remain responsible for the entire filing fee as long as he is a prisoner, even if the case is dismissed. See In re Tyler, 110 F.3d 528, 529B30 (8th Cir. 1997).

         II. Prisoner ...


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