United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REVISE PLRA
DEDUCTIONS [DOC. 13]
CHARLES S. HAIGHT, JR. SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Courtney Green has moved this Court to revise deductions
which are currently being made from his prisoner trust fund
account pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act
("PLRA") under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). Doc. 13.
In light of his status as an in forma pauperis
("IFP") litigant, Plaintiff filed a mandatory
authorization for PLRA deductions to cover his $505 court
filing fees in his appeal from this Court's judgment to
the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
See Green v. Semple, No. 19-1727, Doc.
As described below, the Court will deny Plaintiff's
motion to revise PLRA deductions.
Court reviews Plaintiff's motion procedurally and
substantively and finds it defective on both grounds. With
respect to procedural posture, the case before this Court is
closed and Green has filed a notice of appeal. In performing
its requisite screening duty under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A,
the Court dismissed Plaintiff's action for failure to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted.See Green v.
Semple, No. 3:19-CV-410 (CSH), 2019 WL 2016779, at *8
(D. Conn. May 7, 2019). Thereafter, the Court denied
Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of the dismissal,
concluding that Plaintiff "has not and cannot state a
plausible equal protection claim under the facts of his
case," Green v. Semple, No. 3:19-CV-410 (CSH),
2019 WL 2358023, at *3 (D. Conn. June 4, 2019).
dismissal and judgment, Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal
and was consequently advised that "[u]nless otherwise
directed, all further filings required to be filed at the
Court of Appeals must be made with the Court of Appeals in
accordance with their Rules." Doc. 11. Generally,
"the filing of a notice of appeal is an event of
jurisdictional significance - it confers jurisdiction on the
court of appeals and divests the district court of its
control over those aspects of the case involved in the
appeal." United States v. Rodgers, 101 F.3d
247, 251 (2d Cir. 1996) (quoting Griggs v. Provident
Consumer Disc. Co., 459 U.S. 56, 58 (1982)). A filed
notice of appeal thus precludes the district court from
ruling "on any motion affecting an aspect of the case
that [is] before [the appellate court] . . . while that
appeal [is] pending." Ching v. United States,
298 F.3d 174, 180 (2d Cir. 2002). Moreover, "[a]
district court does not regain jurisdiction until the
issuance of the mandate by the clerk of the court of
appeals." United States v. Rodgers, 101 F.3d
247, 251 (2d Cir. 1996) (citing United States v.
Rivera, 844 F.2d 916, 921 (2d Cir.1988)). Divestiture of
jurisdiction "is a judicially crafted rule rooted in the
interest of judicial economy, designed to avoid confusion or
waste of time resulting from having the same issues before
two courts at the same time." 101 F.3d at 251 (citation
and internal quotation marks omitted)
to proceed IFP is arguably a matter related to
Plaintiff's case on appeal. Although IFP status was
initially granted in his district court case, Green sought to
continue his IFP status in pursuing his appeal. He thus filed
his latest IFP request and related authorization for PLRA
deductions in the Second Circuit. Case No. 19-1727, Doc.
20-1. As set forth infra, it is the simultaneous
deduction of filing fees in his fifth IFP case, the pending
appeal, which has led to his current motion to revise.
Green's signed "Authorization" on appeal, the
Connecticut Department of Correction ("DOC") was
authorized to make the necessary deductions under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915 to recoup the total $505 appellate filing fee by
"monthly installments deducted from [his] prison trust
fund account." Id., Doc. 20-1, 20-2. Per the
statute, such deductions necessarily included the
"initial partial filing fee," followed by
"monthly payments of 20 percent of the preceding
month's income" (for each of 5 federal cases). 28
U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)-(2).
addition, the "Warden's Notice of Prisoner
Authorization" explicitly notified the DOC that it was
authorized to collect the $505 appellate filing fee: "to
calculate the amounts specified by 28 U.S.C. § 1915, to
deduct those amounts from Appellant's prison trust fund
account (or institutional equivalent) and to disburse those
amounts as directed by the United States Court of Appeals for
the Second Circuit." Id., Doc. 20-2. The DOC
was thus required to forward the deductions "to the
clerk of the court each time the amount in [Green's]
account exceeds $10 until [all five] filing fees are
paid." Id. § 1915(b)(2).
pending motion, Green now complains that the resulting
simultaneous PLRA deductions for five cases has been a 100%
(or 5 x 20%) deduction of certain amounts deposited in his
prison trust fund account whenever the account balance
exceeds $10. In light of his pending appeal,
Green's motion appears improvidently filed with this
Court. Once Green filed his notice of appeal, this Court was
divested of its control over aspects of the case involved in
the appeal. Griggs, 459 U.S. at 58. Although the
substance of the appeal focuses on other legal issues, the
deductions related to his IFP status on appeal and the $505
filing fee may be matters connected to his appellate case.
The motion will thus be denied.
Substance of the Motion
PLRA - Proceedings In Forma Pauperis, 28 U.S.C. §
Court notes that Green was granted IFP status by Magistrate
Judge Garfinkel in his district court case before this Court.
No. 3:19-CV-410, Doc. 5. With that in mind, assuming
arguendo that Green's pending motion may be
viewed as properly before this Court, it fails on its
substance. As described below, no revisions may be granted
regarding PLRA deductions from Green's prison trust fund
account because the amounts deducted are dictated by 28
U.S.C. § 1915(b), as interpreted by United States
Supreme Court precedent. When an inmate is granted leave to
proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP"), he is
mandated by statute to pay the entire filing fee.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) ("[I]f a
prisoner brings a civil action or files an appeal in forma
pauperis, the prisoner shall be required to pay the full
amount of a filing ...