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Thomas v. South Carolina Department of Corrections

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

May 20, 2015

Charles Edward Thomas, Plaintiff,
v.
South Carolina Department of Corrections; Jon Ozmint, Former Prison Director; Medical Division; Budget Control; Financial Division; South Carolina Local Government, In their individual and official capacities, Defendants.

ORDER

PAIGE J. GOSSETT, Magistrate Judge.

This is a civil action filed by a state prisoner. Therefore, in the event that a limitations issue arises, Plaintiff shall have the benefit of the holding in Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266 (1988) (prisoner's pleading was filed at the moment of delivery to prison authorities for forwarding to District Court). Plaintiff originally filed this case in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, which transferred the action to this court. (ECF No. 6.) Under Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2) (D.S.C.), pretrial proceedings in this action have been referred to the assigned United States Magistrate Judge.

PAYMENT OF THE FILING FEE:

By filing this case, Plaintiff has incurred a debt to the United States of America in the amount of $350.[1] See 28 U.S.C. § 1914. This debt is not dischargeable in the event Plaintiff seeks relief under the bankruptcy provisions of the United States Code. See 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(17). The Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (1996), permits a prisoner to file a civil action without prepayment of fees or security, but requires the prisoner "to pay the full amount of the filing fee" as funds are available. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), (b). As the court grants Plaintiff permission to proceed in forma pauperis below, the agency having custody of Plaintiff shall collect payments from Plaintiff's prisoner trust account in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) and (2), until the full $350 filing fee is paid. See Torres v. O'Quinn, 612 F.3d 237, 252 (4th Cir. 2010) ("We hold that 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2) caps the amount of funds that may be withdrawn from an inmate's trust account at a maximum of twenty percent regardless of the number of cases or appeals the inmate has filed. ") (emphasis in original).

Plaintiff has submitted an Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (Form AO 240), which is construed as a Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1), (2). A review of the motion reveals that Plaintiff does not have the funds to pay the first installment of the filing fee. Therefore, the amount due from Plaintiff is currently $350.

Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis is granted. (ECF No. 32.)

MOTION TO PROCEED AND MOTION TO GRANT RELIEF:

Plaintiff has filed a motion seeking to proceed in this matter (ECF No. 31 at 1) and motion asking the court to grant the relief sought (ECF No. 42 at 1). In light of the court's order remanding the matter for further consideration (ECF No. 26), and in light of the court's recommendation for summary dismissal of this action in a separately docketed Report and Recommendation, Plaintiff's motion to proceed (ECF No. 31) is terminated as moot and his motion to grant relief (ECF No. 42) is denied.

MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME AND MOTION TO SUBMIT FINANCIAL CERTIFICATE:

Plaintiff seeks an extension of time to provide a Financial Certificate to the court. (ECF No. 31 at 1.) Plaintiff also files a motion to submit his financial certificate. (ECF No. 42.) As Plaintiff has now provided a Financial Certificate (ECF No. 42-1), his motion for an extension of time to submit this document is terminated as moot. (ECF No. 31.) Plaintiff's motion to submit a Financial Certificate (ECF No. 42) is granted and the Clerk of Court is directed below to append this document as an attachment to Plaintiff's already granted motion to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 32).

MOTION TO AMEND:

Plaintiff seeks to amend the Complaint to terminate Budget Control and South Carolina Local Government as defendants in this case. (ECF No. 31 at 1.) Plaintiff's motion to amend is granted (ECF No. 31) and the Clerk of Court is directed below to file the motion as an Amended Complaint on the court's docket.

MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE CASES:

Plaintiff asks this court to run the instant case "in conjunction" with another case filed by Plaintiff in this court, which is currently on appeal. See Thomas v. South Carolina Dep't of Corr., C/A No. 0:14-302-DCN (D.S.C. May 27, 2014) (affirming report and recommendation for summary dismissal). As Plaintiff's prior civil ...


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