4.2 In Forma Pauperis Applications

(a) Financial Information

(1) All Applications

All applications to proceed in forma pauperis shall be accompanied by a financial affidavit which shall disclose the applicant's income, assets, expenses, and liabilities. The court may require applicants who are not institutionalized to file an additional affidavit or produce additional information relevant to the applicant's financial ability to pay the full filing fee. 

(2) Applications by Institutionalized Persons

Institutionalized persons shall also submit, for the prior six-month period and certified by the institution or appropriate governmental entity, (1) a copy of the applicant's trust account statement at the institution ("certified trust account statement") and (2) a statement showing the average monthly deposits to and average monthly balance in the applicant's account.  Applicants institutionalized for less than six (6) months shall submit a certified trust account statement for the entire period of institutionalization and the deposit and balance statements average for the same period.

(b) Eligibility for In Forma Pauperis Status

An applicant shall be entitled to proceed in forma pauperis if the applicant's financial affidavit and/or certified trust account statement demonstrates that the applicant is unable to pay or prepay the fees and pay the costs of the action and the court determines that the applicant has not deliberately depleted his or her assets in order to become eligible for in forma pauperis status.

(c) Filing Fee

(1) Nonincarcerated Persons

The court may require an applicant to pay a partial filing fee provided that the fee assessed does not exceed the greater of fifteen percent (15%) of the value of the applicant's liquid assets or fifteen percent (15%) of the applicant's net monthly income after deducting reasonable expenses.  In no event shall a partial filing fee be less than $5.

(2) Incarcerated Persons

28 U.S.C. § 1915, as amended, requires an inmate to pay the full filing fee when bringing a civil action.  If insufficient funds exist in the inmate's account, the court will assess an initial partial filing fee.

(A) Initial Partial Filing Fee

Should in forma pauperis status be granted, the court will set an initial partial filing fee in the amount of twenty percent (20%) of the greater of (a) the average monthly deposits to the inmate's account for the prior six (6) months; or (b) the average monthly balance in the inmate's account for the prior six (6) months.

(B) Balance

Subsequent monthly payments of twenty percent (20%) of the preceding month's income shall be made until the filing fee is paid in full.  Said payments shall be deducted whenever the inmate's account exceeds $10.

(d) Objections

Objections to any filing fee ordered by the court shall be filed with the clerk's office within fourteen (14) days of that order and shall demonstrate factors, such as lack of ability, which justify not paying the required fee.

(e) Multiple Plaintiffs

The court shall compute any partial filing fee for each person named as a plaintiff or petitioner in the underlying action, provided that the aggregate of the partial filing fees does not exceed the full filing fee for that type of action.  If the aggregate of the partial filing fees exceeds the full filing fee, the court shall reduce proportionately the partial filing fees so that the total of the assessed fees does not exceed the full filing fee.

(f) Rescission of Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

The court may, either on its own or on motion by any party made in accordance with this rule, review and rescind, wholly or in part, leave to proceed in forma pauperis if the party to whom leave was granted becomes capable of paying the full filing fee or is found to have willfully misstated information in the application or for any other lawful ground.

(g) Litigation Expenses

The granting of an application to proceed in forma pauperis does not waive the applicant's responsibility to pay the expenses of litigation which are not waived by 28 U.S.C. §§ 1825 and 1915.


(Amended 1/1/97; § (d) amended 12/1/09)