United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
December 15, 2014
N. BURL CAIN, Warden, Louisiana State Penitentiary
ORDER AND REASONS
SARAH S. VANCE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Petitioner Daniel Moore moves the Court to permit him to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal. Because Moore's appeal is not taken in good faith, the Court DENIES the motion.
Moore is incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana. On May 14, 2014, Moore filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus. Magistrate Judge Daniel Knowles determined that an evidentiary hearing was unnecessary, and recommended that Moore's petition for habeas corpus be denied and dismissed with prejudice as untimely. This Court approved the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation and adopted it as its opinion on December 2, 2014. In addition, the Court denied Moore a certificate of appealability. Moore now moves to proceed with his appeal in forma pauperis.
A plaintiff may proceed with an appeal in forma pauperis when he “submits an affidavit that includes a statement . . . that [he] is unable to pay such fees or give security therefor.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). A district court has discretion in deciding whether to grant or deny a request to proceed in forma pauperis. See Prows v. Kastner, 842 F.2d 138, 140 (5th Cir. 1988); Williams v. Estelle, 681 F.2d 946, 947 (5th Cir. 1982). The district court must inquire as to whether the costs of appeal would cause an undue financial hardship. Prows, 842 F.2d at 140; see also Walker v. Univ. of Tex. Med. Branch, No. 1:08-CV–417, 2008 WL 4873733, at *1 (E.D. Tex. Oct. 30, 2008) (“The term ‘undue financial hardship’ is not defined and, therefore, is a flexible concept. However, a pragmatic rule of thumb contemplates that undue financial hardship results when prepayment of fees or costs would result in the applicant's inability to pay for the ‘necessities of life.’”) (quoting Adkins v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 335 U.S. 331, 339 (1948)). The court must also determine whether the appeal is taken in good faith. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(3). "'Good faith' is demonstrated when a party seeks appellate review of any issue 'not frivolous.'" Howard v. King, 707 F.2d 215, 220 (5th Cir. 1983) (quoting Coppedge v. U.S., 369 U.S. 438, 445 (1962)).
Moore’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis indicates that his current drawing account balance is $2.37, and his savings account balance is $36.00. Moore indicates that he has no other assets.
Although Moore's motion to proceed in forma pauperis suggests his inability to pay fees related to his appeal, the Court denies his motion because his appeal is not taken in good faith. The Court, adopting the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation, specifically found that Moore's federal application for habeas corpus relief was untimely. In his notice of appeal, Moore merely reiterates the claims he presented in his original application and does not seek appellate review of the timeliness determination for which his petition was denied. Even if Moore indicated that he intended to appeal this issue, such an appeal is frivolous for the reasons stated in the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation and the Court's order denying Moore a certificate of appealability. Accordingly, Moore's appeal is not taken in good faith and his in forma pauperis motion is denied.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court DENIES petitioner's motion to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal.