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Neuman v. United States

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


February 2, 2009

JAMES NEUMAN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

On November 13, 2008, the Court dismissed all remaining claims in Neuman's case and entered judgment in favor of the Defendants (Doc. 309). On December 1, 2008, Neuman filed a motion for new trial (Doc. 312), which was denied on December 4, 2008 (Doc. 313).*fn1 On January 21, 2009, Neuman filed a notice of appeal (Doc. 317). Now, he asks this Court to grant him leave to appeal in forma pauperis (Doc. 323). The Court DENIES Neuman's motion.

Motions for pauper status on appeal are governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Section 1915(a)(1) authorizes federal district courts to permit the commencement of any civil action or appeal without prepayment of fees where the applicant submits a financial affidavit showing that he cannot afford to pay the associated fees. Neuman's financial affidavit indicates that Neuman makes $2,800 a month and has $650 in savings. This alone indicates to the Court that Neuman's motion should be denied, as it appears that he lacks the requisite indigence necessary to claim pauper status.

Furthermore, § 1915(a)(3) provides that "An appeal may not be taken in forma pauperis if the trial court certifies in writing that it is not taken in good faith." A district court must ensure that it does not apply an inappropriately high standard when making a determination of good faith. Pate v. Stevens, 163 F.3d 437, 439 (7th Cir. 1998). Seventh Circuit law is clear that an appeal is taken in bad faith if it is based upon a claim that no reasonable person could suppose has any merit. Lee v. Clinton, 209 F.3d 1025, 1026 (7th Cir. 2000).

The Court finds no objectively reasonable argument to indicate that Neuman's claims have merit. The Court has repeatedly explained that a number of parties are clearly entitled to immunity. Where they are not, Neuman has failed to state claims upon which relief can be granted. The Court has thoroughly explained why this is so throughout its many Orders. As a result, the Court cannot find that Neuman's appeal is taken in good faith.

For these reasons, the Court DENIES Neuman's motion for leave to appeal in forma pauperis (Doc. 323) and CERTIFIES that Neuman's appeal is not taken in good faith.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

MICHAEL J. REAGAN United States District Judge


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