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Green v. Walgreens Distribution Center


February 5, 2009


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


On December 3, 2008, Plaintiff, Barbara A. Green, filed a pro se complaint against employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e and 2000e-5 (see Doc. 1). In a nutshell, Green claims that Walgreens Distribution Center harassed her and discriminated against her based on her race.

Green seeks to proceed in forma pauperis and asks the Court to serve process at the Government's expense (see Docs. 2, 3). A federal court is authorized under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1) to permit an indigent party to proceed in a civil action without prepaying the filing fee if two conditions are met: (1) the petitioner is indigent, and (2) the action is neither frivolous nor malicious. See, e.g., Smith-Bey v. Hospital Adm'r, 841 F.2d 751, 757-58 (7th Cir. 1981); Free v. United States, 879 F.2d 1535 (7th Cir. 1989). Under Local Rule 3.1(b), any person seeking leave to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 shall submit an affidavit of poverty which shall conform, as nearly as possible and as applicable, with the form affidavit used pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

In this case, Plaintiff's affidavit in support of her motion reveals that she is not presently employed. She last worked in July 2008, earning $1,084.00 monthly. In the last twelve months, she has only received $650 for work as a childcare provider (two months pay) and unemployment in the amount of $700. She has nothing in checking and savings accounts, and her only asset is an automobile valued at approximately $1,000. Based upon the foregoing information, the Court finds Plaintiff to be indigent within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1).

As an additional matter, the Court has reviewed Plaintiff's complaint and finds that, at this time, the action does not appear to be frivolous or malicious. See Jones v. Morris, 777 F.2d 1277, 1279-80 (7th Cir. 1985) (holding that a complaint is deemed frivolous only if a petitioner can make no rational argument in law or facts to support his claim for relief).

For the foregoing reasons, the motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 2) and the motion for service of process at Government's expense (Doc. 3) are GRANTED as to this Court only. The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to provide Plaintiff with a blank form of summons and three blank forms USM-285. Plaintiff is hereby ORDERED to complete the form of summons and return it to the Clerk of Court. The Clerk of Court SHALL issue the completed summons. Unless service is waived pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(d), the United States Marshal SHALL, in accordance with Rule 4(I), personally or by registered or certified mail serve upon Defendant the summons, a copy of the complaint, and a copy of this Memorandum and Order. All costs of service shall be advanced by the United States. Plaintiff is responsible for providing all necessary materials and copies thereof to the United States Marshals Service. In completing the steps set forth above, Plaintiff is ADVISED pursuant to Rule 4(m) that this action will be dismissed without prejudice if service is not effected within 120 days of the date of this Memorandum and Order.

It is FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall serve upon Defendant, or upon Defendant's attorney if appearance has been entered by counsel, a copy of every further pleading or other document submitted for consideration by this Court. She shall include with the original paper to be filed with the Clerk of Court a certificate stating the date that a true and correct copy of any document was mailed to Defendant or her counsel. Any paper received by a District Judge or a Magistrate Judge which has not been filed with the Clerk of Court or which fails to include a certificate of service will be disregarded by the Court.


G. Patrick Murphy United States District Judge


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