IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
February 25, 2008
RICHARD GROTTS, PLAINTIFF,
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, Chief Judge
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
On January 25, 2008, Richard Grotts filed a complaint against the Commissioner of Social Security for judicial review of an administrative agency's decision. (Doc. 2.) Specifically, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) and 1383(c), Grotts seeks judicial review of the Commissioner's decision to deny Grotts' claim for benefits under the Social Security Act. Now before the Court is Grotts' motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 3). Because the Court finds that Grotts 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).
Grotts' motion survives § 1915(e)(2) review. Grotts furnished an application to proceed in forma pauperis 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 Grotts' application to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 3.)
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DavidRHerndon Chief Judge United States District Court
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