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United States of America v. Clarence G. Goree

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


April 4, 2011

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CLARENCE G. GOREE, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Phil Gilbert District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Clarence Goree's pro se Motion for Copies (Doc. 526) and Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis (Doc. 527).

As the Court explained to Goree in a previous memorandum and order, defendants have no constitutional right to a complimentary copy of any document in their court files. See United States v. Groce, 838 F. Supp. 411, 413, 414 (E.D. Wis. 1993). Before providing copies free of charge, a district court may require the requestor to show: (1) that he has exhausted all other means of access to his files (i.e., through his trial and/or appellate counsel); (2) that he is financially unable to secure access to his court files (i.e., through a showing similar to that required in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2), which includes a certified copy of the prisoner's trust account for the six-month period prior to filing); and (3) that the documents requested are necessary for the preparation of some specific non-frivolous court action. See United States v. Wilkinson, 618 F.2d 1215, 1218-19 (7th Cir. 1980); Rush v. United States, 559 F.2d 455, 459 (7th Cir. 1977); Groce, 838 F. Supp. at 413-14.

Here, Goree has only made one of the three necessary showings - namely, that he is financially unable to secure access to his court files. This is evidenced by the financial affidavit and trust account statement that he submitted in conjunction with his motion to proceed in forma pauperis. On the other hand, Goree has not shown that he exhausted all non-judicial avenues to obtaining the sought documents*fn1 or that such documents are necessary to prepare a particular non-frivolous court action. The Court will not grant Goree access to the sought documents when he may not even be contemplating legal action. Accordingly, the Court DENIES Goree's Motion for Copies (Doc. 526).

Similar logic applies to Goree's request to proceed in forma pauperis. An inmate has no cause to proceed in forma pauperis if he is not maintaining a specific non-frivolous court action. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) (2006). Because Goree has not informed the Court of any anticipated court action or the details thereof and because Goree does not currently have any cases open with this Court, the Court DENIES his Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis (Doc. 527).

The Court DIRECTS the Clerk of Court to mail a copy of this Memorandum and Order to Clarence Goree, Reg. #14872-026, FCI Greenville, Federal Correctional Institution, P.O. Box 5000, Greenville, Illinois 62246.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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