(a) Definitions. The following
definitions shall apply to this rule:
(1) “IFP petition” means a
petition for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, i.e., without
prepayment of prescribed fees.
(2) “Financial affidavit”
means the form of affidavit of financial status prescribed by the Court.
(b) Prepayment Required. Any document submitted for filing for
which a filing fee is required must be accompanied either by the appropriate
fee or an IFP petition. Not withstanding this provision, the clerk will file
any document including a complaint in a civil action, a notice of appeal, or
other document for which a filing fee is prescribed, without prepayment, but
such filings shall be subject to the sanctions set forth in section (f) of this
(c) Filing in forma
pauperis. The IFP
petition and the financial affidavit shall be filed and assigned to a judge.
The complaint shall be stamped received as of the date presented. The clerk
shall promptly forward the IFP petition and all other papers to the judge to
whom it is assigned.
(d) Date of filing. If the judge grants the IFP
petition, the complaint shall be filed as of the date of the judge’s order
except that where the complaint must be filed within a time limit and the order
granting leave to file is entered after the expiration of that time limit, the
complaint shall be deemed to have been filed:
(1) in the case of any
plaintiff in custody, as of the time of the plaintiff’s delivery of the
complaint to the custodial authorities for transmittal to the court; or
(2) in the case of any other plaintiff, as of the time the complaint was received by the clerk.
(e) Disposition of the IFP petition. In addition to granting or denying an IFP petition, the judge may order the payment of a partial filing fee when the plaintiff’s financial circumstances so warrant.
(f) Notice of fees due; sanctions. Upon denial of an IFP petition, the clerk shall notify the plaintiff of the amount of fees due. If the required fees are not paid within 15 days of the date of such notification, or within such other time as may be fixed by the court, the clerk shall notify the judge before whom the matter is pending of the nonpayment. The court may then apply such sanctions as it determines necessary including dismissal of the action.
(g) Service of Summonses by United States Marshal. Where an order is entered granting the IFP petition, that order shall, unless otherwise ordered by the court, stand as authority for the United States Marshal to serve summonses without prepayment of the required fees.