IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
June 7, 2006
CLEOTHA R. SPEARMAN, SR., PLAINTIFF,
ROBINSON STEEL CO., DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, District Judge
On June 5, 2006, Cleotha Spearman filed a pro se complaint against his former employer, Robinson Steel Co. ("Robinson Steel") employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e and 2000e-5 (Doc. 1). Specifically, Spearman alleges that Robinson Steel discriminated against him and terminated him because of his race and his religion. Now before the Court is Spearman's motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 2). Because the Court finds that Spearman is indigent, the Court grants the motion.
By granting a motion for pauper status, a court authorizes a lawsuit to proceed without prepayment of fees. For many years, federal district courts granted such motions if the movant was indigent and the complaint was neither frivolous nor malicious. 28 U.S.C. § 1915. The Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), significantly changed the district court's responsibilities in reviewing pro se complaints and in forma pauperis motions. The Seventh Circuit has clarified that the PLRA "changed § 1915 not only for cases brought by prisoners, but in some respect for all indigent litigants." Hutchinson v. Spink, 126 F.3d 895, 899 (7th Cir. 1997). Under the PLRA, the Court must screen any indigent's complaint (those filed by prisoners and non-prisoners alike) and dismiss the complaint if (a) the allegation of poverty is untrue, (b) the action is frivolous or malicious, (c) the action fails to state a claim upon which can be granted, or (d) the action seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
Spearman's motion survives § 1915(e)(2) review. Spearman furnished an affidavit documenting his poverty. The action appears to be neither frivolous nor malicious. At this point, the Court cannot conclude that the complaint fails to state a claim or that the named defendant is immune from suit.
Accordingly, the Court GRANTS Spearman's motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 2). The Court DIRECTS the Clerk's Office to prepare and issue a summons for Defendant Robinson Steel Co. and forward the summons to Spearman. Spearman then shall serve the summons and complaint upon the Defendant.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Signed this 7th day of June, 2006.
David R. Herndon United States District Judge
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