United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
KENNETH A. SANDERS, Petitioner,
HONORABLE JUDGE DAVID BRAGG, Respondent.
A. Trauger United States District Judge.
Kenneth A. Sanders is a state prisoner presently incarcerated
at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex in Pikeville,
Tennessee. Before the court is the petitioner's
application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No.
2). In addition, the petitioner has filed a petition for writ
of mandamus which is before the court for an initial review
pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and
1915A, and 42 U.S.C. § 1997e.
Application to Proceed as a Pauper
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a), a prisoner bringing a civil action may
be permitted to file suit without prepaying the filing fee of
$350 required by 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). Because the
petitioner properly submitted an in forma pauperis
affidavit, and because it appears from his submissions that
the petitioner lacks sufficient financial resources from
which to pay the full filing fee in advance, the application
(ECF No. 2) is GRANTED.
under § 1915(b), the petitioner nonetheless remains
responsible for paying the full filing fee. See Bruce v.
Samuels, ___ U.S. ___, 136 S.Ct. 627, 632, n.3 (2016)
(assuming “without deciding that a mandamus petition
qualifies as a ‘civil action' or ‘appeal'
for purposes of 28 U.S.C. §1915(b)”); Gross v.
Experian, No. 10-cv-150-GFVT, 2015 WL 1038835, at *3-*4
(E.D. Ky. Mar. 10, 2015) (noting that mandamus actions are
civil proceedings to which the PLRA filing fee requirements
apply). The obligation to pay the fee accrues at the time the
case is filed, but the PLRA provides prisoner-petitioners the
opportunity to make a “down payment” of a partial
filing fee and to pay the remainder in installments.
Accordingly, the petitioner is hereby ASSESSED the full $350
filing fee, to be paid as follows:
custodian of the petitioner's inmate trust-fund account
at the institution where he now resides is DIRECTED to submit
to the Clerk of Court, as an initial payment, “20
percent of the greater of - (a) the average monthly deposits
to the petitioner's account; or (b) the average monthly
balance in the petitioner's account for the 6-month
period immediately preceding the filing of the
complaint.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
After the initial filing fee is fully paid, the trust-fund
officer must withdraw from the petitioner's account and
pay to the Clerk monthly payments equal to 20% of all
deposits credited to the petitioner's account during the
preceding month, but only when the amount in the account
exceeds $10. Such payments must continue until the entire
$350 filing fee is paid in full. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
Each time the trust account officer makes a payment to this
court as required by this order, he must print a copy of the
prisoner's account statement showing all activity in the
account since the last payment made in accordance with this
order and submit it to the Clerk along with the payment. All
submissions to the court must clearly identify the
petitioner's name and the case number as indicated on the
first page of this order, and must be mailed to: Clerk,
United States District Court, Middle District of Tennessee,
801 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203.
Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to send a copy of this order to
the Warden of the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex to
ensure that the custodian of the petitioner's inmate
trust account complies with that portion of 28 U.S.C. §
1915 pertaining to the payment of the filing fee. If the
petitioner is transferred from his present place of
confinement, the custodian of his inmate trust-fund account
MUST ensure that a copy of this order follows the petitioner
to his new place of confinement for continued compliance with
petitioner is transferred to a different prison or is
released, he is ORDERED to notify the court immediately, in
writing, of his change of address.
Dismissal of the Complaint
granted the petitioner leave to proceed in forma
pauperis, the Court was required to conduct an initial
screening of the petition and to dismiss it if it fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, is frivolous
or malicious, or seeks relief from defendants who are immune
from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); cf. Brewer
v. Cleveland Mun. Sch. Dist., 84 F. App'x 570,
571-73 (6th Cir. 2003) (affirming a district court's
dismissal under § 1915(e)(2) of a complaint filed by a
non-prisoner who was proceeding in forma pauperis).
conducted such a review, as set forth in the accompanying
memorandum opinion, the court finds that the writ of mandamus
is frivolous, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted and sues a party who is immune from suit.
Accordingly, the petitioner's writ of mandamus is
same considerations that lead the court to dismiss this case
also compel the conclusion that an appeal would not be taken
in good faith. It is therefore CERTIFIED, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that any appeal in this matter by
the petitioner would not be taken in good faith, and the