United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division
Kristy M. Wolff, FNP-C, ADN, BSN, MSN, APRN, Plaintiff,
Bee Healthy Medical Weight Loss Clinic And Julie, Coordinator, Defendants.
CAMERON MCGOWAN CURRIE Senior United States District Judge.
matter is before the court on Plaintiff's pro se
complaint alleging discrimination by her former employer. ECF
No. 1. Plaintiff has filed motions for leave to proceed
in forma pauperis. ECF Nos. 3, 10.
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule
73.02 (B)(2)(e), DSC, this matter was referred to United
States Magistrate Judge Shiva V. Hodges for pre-trial
proceedings and a Report and Recommendation. On January 16,
2018, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report recommending
Plaintiff's motions to proceed in forma pauperis
be denied, and Plaintiff be given fourteen (14) days to pay
the full filing fee. The Magistrate Judge advised Plaintiff
of the procedures and requirements for filing objections to
the Report and Recommendation and the serious consequences if
she failed to do so. Plaintiff filed timely objections on
February 1, 2018. ECF No. 12.
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this court.
The recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the
responsibility to make a final determination remains with the
court. See Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261 (1976).
The court is charged with making a de novo
determination of any portion of the Report and Recommendation
of the Magistrate Judge to which a specific objection is
made. The court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in
part, the recommendation made by the Magistrate Judge or
recommit the matter to the Magistrate Judge with
instructions. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b). The court
reviews the Report only for clear error in the absence of an
objection. See Diamond v. Colonial Life & Accident
Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005) (stating
that “in the absence of a timely filed objection, a
district court need not conduct a de novo review, but instead
must only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the
face of the record in order to accept the
recommendation.”) (citation omitted).
reviewing the record of this matter, the applicable law, the
Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, and
Plaintiff's objections, the court agrees with the Report
and therefore adopts and incorporates it in this order.
Plaintiff states in her objections her husband's income
should not be used to calculate whether she can pay the
filing fee, as he does not provide her any funds other than
for their mortgage, another loan, and car insurance. ECF No.
16. She notes she has applied for over 289 jobs in the last
two years, and is starting her own telemedicine company
“so that [she] can work around [her] needed
accommodations.” Id. at 2. In addition to that
self-employment, she is pursuing a Doctorate and has a
pending disability claim awaiting resolution by an
Administrative Law Judge. She is unable to pay the filing fee
because she is currently unemployed and owes her son's
school tuition. She requests a reduction in the fee amount
because paying the full fee would not allow her to pay her
medical bills, her car payment, or other utilities, as well
as repaying debts. She also requests a delay in paying the
fee until her tax refund is processed, and notes her
“money is tied up in assets.” Id.
initial motion for leave to file in forma pauperis
notes she has not received income in the past year, but has
been living off a retirement account for two
years. ECF No. 3. She has $25, 000 in jewelry,
including a $9000 yellow diamond and a Rolex watch she
purchased for $6900 which she states retails for over $12,
000. Id. She has bills of approximately $1600 per
month, with her husband paying some but not half.
Id. She also owns a 2012 Lexus RX450. Id.
She has approximately $200 in a checking account and $100 in
savings. ECF No. 16-1 at 3.
does not appear to be currently indigent and has ample funds
to allow her immediate access to the courts if the filing fee
is required. While a litigant does not have to be
“absolutely destitute to enjoy the benefits” of
in forma pauperis status, it does not appear
Plaintiff will have to “choose between abandoning a
potentially meritorious claim or foregoing the necessities of
life.” Adkins v. E.I. DuPont De Nemours &
Co., 335 U.S. 331, 339 (1948); Compare Oren v. W.
Virginia Dep't of Pub. Safety, 978 F.2d 1255 (4th
Cir. 1992) (reversing district court's denial of motion
to proceed in forma pauperis when the plaintiff had
not worked for five years, had only $103 in his bank account,
and his only income was from Social Security), with
Karahalios v. Horry County Council, No. 4:17-cv-00393,
2017 WL 1223697 (D.S.C. 2017) (district court adopted Report
recommending denial of motion to proceed in forma
pauperis when the plaintiff received $3100 monthly from
disability benefits, listed expenses of $2812 per month, and
had $960 in savings).
motions to proceed in forma pauperis are denied, and
the Report of the Magistrate Judge is adopted and
incorporated herein, as supplemented in this paragraph.
However, the court will grant an extended time to allow
Plaintiff to receive her tax refund before the filing fee is
due. Plaintiff shall pay the filing fee by March 15,
2018. If Plaintiff does not pay the full filing
fee within the time allowed, or seek an extension of time in
which to do so, this case shall, by additional order of this
court, be dismissed without prejudice and without service of
IS SO ORDERED.
 However, the attachment to her
objections notes she was employed by Lexington Medical Center
for about two months in 2016, earning $4400 per month, and by
Bee Healthy Medical Weight Loss, Defendant in this action,
from January to May 2017, earning $5000 per month. ECF No.
 The case shall be stayed pending