UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
June 11, 2012
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
LESLIE A. JONES, 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 Leslie A. Jones's motion for free copies of the transcripts and the file in her criminal case (Doc. 140). 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 she has exhausted all other means of access to her files (i.e., through his trial and appellate counsel), (2) that she is financially unable to secure access to her 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 previous 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. These minimal requirements do not impose any substantial burden to financially unable prisoners who desire their records be sent to them at government expense.
Jones has not addressed any of these relevant factors. Accordingly, the Court DENIES without prejudice her motion (Doc. 140). She may refile her motion addressing the three foregoing factors.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
J. Phil Gilbert
© 1992-2012 VersusLaw Inc.