UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
September 12, 2012
ARNETT RAMSEY, PLAINTIFF,
THOMAS GIBBONS AND ROBERT HERTZ, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Phil Gilbert District Judge
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter comes before the Court on plaintiff Arnett Ramsey's motion for three copies of an unspecified motion (presumably his motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 3), since that is the only motion he has previously filed in this case) and for more time to submit a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 8). The Court dismissed this case with prejudice on August 22, 2012.
Ramsey does not need more time to file a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. The Court received his first motion (Doc. 3) in a timely manner.
Additionally, Ramsey has not convinced the Court it should give him free copies of any document in the file. Litigants 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 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 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.
Ramsey has not shown he cannot pay for three copies of his motion. His motion is five pages long, including the letter he sent accompanying the motion. Three copies of the motion at fifty cents per page comes to $7.50. His trust fund statement shows that Arnett has more than $7.50 in his trust fund account. More importantly, Ramsey has not shown that he needs copies of his motion for a specific, non-frivolous court action.
For these reasons, the Court DENIES Ramsey's motion (Doc. 8). IT IS SO ORDERED.
J. Phil Gilbert
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