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Ricks v. People Ready Staffing Agency

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

October 31, 2019

Christina Ricks, Plaintiff,
v.
People Ready Staffing Agency, Tessa Wetherald, and Shamra Terry, Defendants.

          ENTRY GRANTING MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS, SCREENING COMPLAINT, AND DIRECTING FURTHER PROCEEDINGS

          Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief United States District Judge.

         Pending before the Court are Plaintiff Christina Ricks' Complaint, [Filing No. 1], and Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis, [Filing No. 2]. This Order addresses Ms. Ricks' Motion, screens her Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), and directs further proceedings.

         I.

         Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

         28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) permits the Court to authorize a plaintiff to file a lawsuit “without prepayment of fees” if the plaintiff “submits an affidavit” demonstrating that she lacks the assets to pay the filing fee at this time. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Ms. Ricks' Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis, [2], meets this standard and is therefore GRANTED. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).

         The Court notes that, while in forma pauperis status allows the plaintiff to proceed without pre-payment of the filing fee, the plaintiff remains liable for the full fee. Robbins v. Switzer, 104 F.3d 895, 898 (7th Cir. 1997) (Every in forma pauperis litigant is liable for the filing fee; “all [18 U.S.C.] § 1915(a) does for any litigant is excuse the pre-payment of fees”) (emphasis in original). The Court does not have the authority to waive the filing fee, and it remains due despite plaintiff's in forma pauperis status. Fiorito v. Samuels, 2016 WL 3636968, *2 (C.D. Ill. 2016) (“The Court does not have the authority to waive a filing fee”); McDaniel v. Meisner, 2015 WL 4773135, *5 (E.D. Wis. 2015) (same principle). The filing fee for in forma pauperis litigants is $350. See USDC Fee Schedule at https://www.insd.uscourts.gov/fees-financial-information (stating that the $400 filing fee includes a $50 administrative fee, but that the administrative fee “does not apply to…persons granted in forma pauperis status under 28 U.S.C. § 1915”). Immediate payment is not required; however, the $350 balance remains owing.

         II.

         Screening

         A. Screening Standard

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court shall dismiss a case brought by a plaintiff proceeding in forma pauperis “at any time if the court determines that . . . the action . . . is frivolous or malicious; . . . fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or . . . seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” In determining whether a complaint states a claim, the Court applies the same standard as when addressing a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Lagerstrom v. Kingston, 463 F.3d 621, 624 (7th Cir. 2006). To survive dismissal:

[the] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

         B. Complaint

         In her Complaint, Ms. Ricks alleges that she was employed by People Ready Staffing Agency (“People Ready”), under the supervision of Tessa Wetherald and Shamra Terry, and was assigned to work at Cummins Engine Company (“Cummins”). [Filing No. 1 at 2.] According to Ms. Ricks, Ms. Wetherald and Ms. Terry told her that she would be making $13 per hour, directed her to lie on her application by not listing a prior felony conviction, and told her that they would bypass her drug screening. [Filing No. 1 at 2.] During her first two weeks of employment, Ms. Ricks did not receive a paycheck stub until she complained to People Ready staff. [Filing No. 1 at 2.] Ms. Ricks alleges that, when she finally received her paycheck stub, it showed that she was only being paid $12 per hour. [Filing No. 1 at 2.] Ms. Ricks alleges that the staff at People Ready told her that “there was a mistake about the hourly pay” and she “was accidentally told” that she would be paid $13 per hour. [Filing No. ...


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