Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Harris v. Community Action Partnership North Alabama

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Jasper Division

September 19, 2017

ROBIN HARRIS, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMUNITY ACTION PARTNERSHIP OF NORTH ALABAMA, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          SHARON LOVELACE BLACKBURN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This case is currently before the court on plaintiff Robin Harris's Application Under 706(f) of Civil Rights Act of 1964, asking the court to appoint her an attorney and to grant her the authority to commence this case without prepayment of fees, costs, or security. (See doc. 1.)[1] For the reasons set forth herein, the court finds that Harris's Application is due to be granted in part and denied in part and that her claims are due to be dismissed.

         1. Motion to Appoint an Attorney

         “Appointment of counsel in a civil case is not a constitutional right. It is a privilege that is justified only by exceptional circumstances, such as where the facts and legal issues are so novel or complex as to require the assistance of a trained practitioner.” Fowler v. Jones, 899 F.2d 1088, 1096 (11th Cir. 1990). Further, the United States Supreme Court has held that an attorney may not be compelled to accept appointment in a civil action. See Mallard v. United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 490 U.S. 296 (1989).

         Based on Harris's Application, the court will deny her request for appointment of counsel on the ground that the legal and factual issues do not appear to be so novel or complex as to require the assistance of trained counsel.

         2. Motion to Proceed Without Prepayment of Fees, Costs, and Security

         Harris also asks the court to allow her to commence an action without prepayment of the fees, costs, or security because of her inability to pay such fees, costs, and/or security.

         In other words, she asks the court for permission to proceed in forma pauperis [hereinafter “IFP”].[2] This court “has wide discretion in denying an application to proceed IFP under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. This is especially true . . . in civil cases for damages, wherein the courts should grant the privilege sparingly.” Martinez v. Kristi Kleaners, Inc., 364 F.3d 1305, 1306 (11th Cir. 2004)(citing Flowers v. Turbine Support Div., 507 F.2d 1242, 1244 (5th Cir.1975)). However the court may not arbitrarily deny an application to proceed IFP or deny the application on erroneous legal grounds. Id. at 1306-07.

When considering a motion filed pursuant to § 1915(a), the only determination to be made by the court is whether the statements in the affidavit satisfy the requirement of poverty. An affidavit addressing the statutory language should be accepted by the court, absent a serious misrepresentation, and need not show that the litigant is absolutely destitute to qualify for indigent status under § 1915. Such an 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. In other words, the statute is not to be construed such that potential litigants are forced to become public charges or abandon their claims because of the filing fee requirements.

Id. at 1307 (quoting Adkins v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 335 U.S. 331, 338-40 (1948); Watson v. Ault, 525 F.2d 886, 891 (11th Cir.1976))(internal quotations, citations, and footnotes omitted).

         According to her Application, Harris is unemployed. (Doc. 1 at 1.) Her outstanding debts and obligations outweigh the value of her assets. (See id. at 2-3.) The court finds that Harris has demonstrated her economic eligibility for IFP status.

         Therefore, her Application to proceed IFP will be granted.

         3. Section 1915(e)(2)(B)

         “Where the IFP affidavit is sufficient on its face to demonstrate economic eligibility, the court should first docket the case and then proceed to the question of whether the asserted claim is frivolous.” Martinez, 364 F.3d at 1307. The statute authorizing this court to allow a plaintiff to proceed ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.