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Miller v. Commissioner of Social Security Administration

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 18, 2014

Willie Mary Miller, Petitioner,
v.
Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Respondent.

ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [DOC. 5] AND DENYING APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS [DOC. 6]

JENNIFER A. DORSEY, District Judge.

This social security matter comes before the Court on petitioner Willie Mary Miller's application to proceed in forma pauperis. Doc. 4. Magistrate Judge Hoffman originally denied without prejudice Miller's first in forma pauperis motion, noting that she had submitted an incomplete application as she had not provided the court with any indication of her housing expenses. Doc. 2 at 1. Miller re-submitted her in forma pauperis application, in which she indicated that she receives approximately $1, 412 per month in income, [1] "that her total amount of debt is none, [she] has no dependents, " and she has monthly expenses of between $299.70 and $344.70. Doc. 4. Magistrate Judge Hoffman found that Miller's income was sufficient to support her filing fee, and he recommended denying the in forma pauperis application. Doc. 5 at 2. Miller objected. Doc. 6.

A U.S. Magistrate Judge may be designated to "conduct hearings... and to submit proposed findings of fact and recommendations" regarding the disposition of motions before the Court.[2] A party may file objections to these proposed findings and recommendations, which the district court reviews de novo.[3] The standard of review applied to the unobjected-to portions of the report and recommendation is left to the district judge's discretion.[4]

Miller does not challenge Judge Hoffman's conclusion regarding her entitlement to in forma pauperis status based on her income as stated on the application, and the Court declines to reconsider it. Instead, Miller's one-page objection asks for another chance to complete the form: although her disability impairs her ability to stay focused, since speaking to an attorney she has recognized that she does, in fact, have debt that was not disclosed on her second in forma pauperis application, and thus not considered by Judge Hoffman. Doc. 6 at 2. She attaches a document purporting to itemize some of her debts, including a $1, 380 "CCI" balance, Doc. 6 at 4, and an $8, 841.28 student loan balance. Doc. 6 at 7-8. She also includes a page with handwritten figures that include a $157, 000 debt as the cosigner of a house, an estimated $23, 000 car payment, and $13, 000 in payments to Clark County Medical. Doc. 6 at 11. She claims to have "requested a copy of [her] credit report to prove [her] debt." Id. However, in the almost ten months that have passed since Miller purportedly made that request, she has failed to request leave to supplement her application.

Not only did Judge Hoffman provide Miller with an opportunity to correct her first, defective in forma pauperis application-placing her on notice that she should carefully fill out the form, or seek assistance in completing it-but this Court has allowed her ample time to supplement, or attempt to supplement, the record in this case before undertaking to rule on this issue. Having received nothing from Miller for a protracted length of time, I overrule Miller's objections and adopt Judge Hoffman's recommendation to deny her in forma pauperis application.

Conclusion

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Miller's Objections to Magistrate Judge Hoffman's Report and Recommendation [Doc. 6] are OVERRULED.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Judge Hoffman's Report and Recommendation [Doc. 5] is ADOPTED. Miller's Application to Proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. 4] is DENIED. Miller has 30 days to pay the $400.00 filing fee. Miller's failure to comply with this order by timely payment of the ...


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