United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
STADTMUELLER, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
proceeding pro se, filed a complaint in this matter
and a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
(Docket #1, #2). The Court may grant Plaintiff's motion
to proceed in forma pauperis if it determines that:
(1) Plaintiff is truly indigent and unable to pay the costs
of commencing this action; and (2) Plaintiff's action is
neither frivolous nor malicious. 28 U.S.C. §§
the first requirement, the privilege to proceed without
payment of costs and fees “is reserved to the many
truly impoverished litigants who. . .would remain without
legal remedy if such privilege were not afforded to
them.” Brewster v. N. Am. Van Lines, Inc., 461
F.2d 649, 651 (7th Cir. 1972). In her motion for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis, Plaintiff was required to
make statements about her income, expenses, and assets under
oath. (Docket #2). Her motion is largely blank, however,
which leaves the Court unable to determine whether she is
she reports that she is unemployed, unmarried, and has no
dependents, she gives no information whatsoever about her
sources of income or her expenses, if any. See Id.
at 1-2. As for her assets, she states that she does not own a
car or home and has no cash or bank accounts. Id. at
3. In explaining her circumstances further, Plaintiff avers
that she is currently living with her mother and that she has
been unable to work as a result of her ongoing medical
problems and associated pain. Id. at 4.
averments do not equip the Court with the information it
needs to decide her motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. While the Court acknowledges that it may be
difficult for Plaintiff to pay the filing fee if she is not
presently working, it is not clear from the record that
Plaintiff would be unable “to provide [her]self. .
.with the necessities of life” if required to pay the
filing fee. Adkins v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours &
Co., 335 U.S. 331, 339 (1948). This may well be true, of
course, but Plaintiff simply has not provided the necessary
the Court cannot determine from the face of Plaintiff's
complaint whether her action is frivolous. In her complaint,
Plaintiff alleges that her disability benefits were
discontinued after a hearing before a judge-who the Court
assumes was an administrative law judge (“ALJ”)
of the Social Security Administration. (Docket #1 at 2). She
accuses the ALJ of being biased against her and of failing to
review certain relevant evidence. Id. at 2-3.
Plaintiff requests that her disability benefits be
reinstated. Id. at 4.
allegations, construed generously, largely suffice to show
that Plaintiff believes she was wrongfully denied disability
benefits. However, the Court cannot determine whether
Plaintiff appealed the ALJ's adverse decision to the
Social Security Appeals Council, which is a necessary
prerequisite to filing suit in this Court. See Johnson v.
Sullivan, 922 F.2d 346, 348, 352 (7th Cir. 1990).
the Court has two reasons to doubt this case can proceed in
the present posture. Yet rather than deny Plaintiff leave to
proceed in forma pauperis or dismiss her case
outright, the Court will deny the motion for leave to proceed
in forma pauperis without prejudice and allow
Plaintiff fourteen days in which to submit a revised motion
which is complete in all material respects. The Court will
then review the revised motion and render a decision on
whether Plaintiff may proceed without prepayment of the
filing fee in this case.
the Court will direct Plaintiff to submit an amended
complaint within fourteen days that cures the deficiencies
the Court identified above. The Court provides to the public
a form complaint specifically crafted for those wishing to
make claims based on the denial of Social Security disability
benefits. In the form, the plaintiff is given the opportunity
to explain her efforts at exhausting her administrative
remedies, including the dates of decisions made by the ALJ
and the Appeals Council. To ensure that her amended complaint
contains this information, the Court is enclosing with this
Order a blank copy of the form Social Security complaint.
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Docket #2)
be and the same is hereby DENIED without
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall file, within
fourteen (14) days of the date of this
Order, (1) a revised motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis and (2) an amended complaint utilizing the
Court's Social Security complaint form, as directed in
“SSI” as the defendant in her case, but it is
plain to the Court that she intended to sue the Commissioner
of Social Security for relief from an adverse determination
on her right to benefits. See (Docket #1 at 1-2).
The Court ...