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Zerbst v. University of Phoenix

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

January 9, 2020

DAKOTA LEE ZERBST, Plaintiff,
v.
UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX, Defendant.

          ORDER

          JEFFREY L. VIKEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Dakota Lee Zerbst, appearing pro se, brought this action under the False Claims Act ("FCA"), 31 U.S.C. § 3729, against defendant, the University of Phoenix. (Docket 1). Plaintiff moves for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Docket 2). Also pending before the court are plaintiffs motions to appoint counsel, a motion requesting a CM/ECF account to electronically file documents, and a motion to withdraw his request for waiver of service. (Docket 3, 6 & 7). The court grants plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis and dismisses the case.

         I. In Forma Pauperis Status

         Section 1915(a)(1) of Title 28 of the United States Code permits the court to authorize the commencement of a civil action without prepayment of fees . upon proof of plaintiff s inability to pay. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). In his declaration, plaintiff indicates he makes approximately $300 per month in wages and has no savings or other assets. (Docket 2). The court finds plaintiff is indigent within the meaning of § 1915(a)(1) and grants him leave to proceed in forma pauperis.[1]

         II. Complaint Screening

         A. Legal standard

         Because plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the court must screen his complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. That statute provides:

Notwithstanding any filing fee, . * . the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that-
(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 from such relief.

28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Subsection (e)(2) allows the court to suet sponte review a complaint filed with an in forma pauperis application to determine if the action is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim, or seeks monetary relief ...


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