United States District Court, D. Minnesota
RICHARD NELSON United States District Judge.
April 3, 2019, this Court provisionally granted the
application to proceed in forma pauperis of
plaintiff Brock Fredin and assessed an initial partial filing
fee of $59.05. See ECF No. 122. Fredin now requests
that he be excused from the partial-filing-fee requirement
or, alternatively, that the initial fee be recalculated.
See ECF No. 126.
initial matter, Fredin asks whether his detention at a county
jail, rather than a state or federal prison, exempts him
“from any Prison Litigation Reform Act
(‘PLRA') applicability.” ECF No. 126 at 1. It
does not. The relevant provision of the PLRA, 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(h), defines “prisoner” as “any
person incarcerated or detained in any facility who is
accused of, convicted of, sentenced for, or adjudicated
delinquent for, violations of criminal law or the terms and
conditions of parole, probation, pretrial release, or
diversionary program.” Fredin is a person
“detained in [a] facility who is . . . convicted of . .
. [a violation] of criminal law.” He is therefore a
“prisoner” under § 1915(h), and the PLRA -
including the requirement that he pay an initial partial
filing fee before prosecuting an appeal - applies to him,
see 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b).
only question remaining is how much Fredin, as a
prisoner, owes towards that initial partial filing fee. The
Court originally calculated that initial partial filing fee
based on financial information submitted by Fredin along with
his notice of appeal, as certified by jail officials on
February 1, 2019. See ECF No. 117 at 6. Fredin now
submits amended financial information, certified by jail
officials on April 11, 2019, showing substantially reduced
deposits to his jail trust account. See ECF No. 126
at 1. These figures, if used, would entitle Fredin to an
initial partial filing fee of $11.20, not $59.05.
certificate submitted by Fredin is precisely what is required
under the PLRA for an accurate calculation. The initial
partial filing fee for an appeal is calculated by using
figures “for the 6-month period immediately preceding
the filing of the . . . notice of appeal.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b)(2). Fredin filed his notice of appeal on March
25, 2019,  see ECF No. 116, and thus the
relevant 6-month period ends with that date. Fredin's
first certificate included financial information only through
February 1, 2019. See ECF No. 117 at 6. Fredin's
second certificate included information dated from April 11,
2019, and thus would appear to include more of the relevant
period-except that the more recent certificate seems to
include financial information related only to the 45 days
prior to the completion of that certificate. See ECF
No. 126 at 1. Thus, not only does the most recent certificate
include financial information for a shorter period, but much
of that period is irrelevant for purposes of calculating the
initial fee owed by Fredin.
neither certificate is perfect, the Court concludes that
Fredin's earlier certificate is the more accurate of the
two for determining the correct partial filing fee owed.
Accordingly, the Court declines to recalculate Fredin's
initial partial filing fee at this time. If Fredin seeks
recalculation of that amount, he must submit what the IFP
statute requires: “a certified copy of the trust fund
account statement (or institutional equivalent) for
the prisoner for the 6-month period immediately preceding the
filing of the complaint or notice of appeal.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(2) (emphasis added). This complete
statement-covering the period from October 2018 (or the date
upon which Fredin became incarcerated, whichever is later)
through March 2019-would establish conclusively the correct
amount owed before initiating the appeal. Should Fredin
submit this statement within 20 days, the Court will
recalculate the amount owed by him under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(b). The Court warns Fredin, however, that there is no
guarantee that his initial partial filing fee will
decrease based on the financial information he
this Court notes that Fredin has not demonstrated at this
time that he “has no assets and no means by which to
pay the initial partial filing fee, ” 28 U.S.C. §
1915(b)(4), whatever that initial partial filing fee might
be. Although Fredin attests that he is not paid for the work
he performs while incarcerated, his most recent certificate
establishes that has recently received deposits to his jail
trust account and thus shows that Fredin has a continuing
source of income, however limited that income currently is.
Further, Fredin was capable of paying an initial partial
filing fee of $59.05 in another lawsuit recently initiated by
him in this District, see Fredin v. City Pages, No.
19-CV-0472 (DWF/TNL) (D. Minn.), demonstrating that he likely
has at least some capability to pay an initial partial filing
fee in this matter as well. Accordingly, the requirement of
an initial partial filing fee in this case will not be waived
absent a credible showing that Fredin is truly without assets
or means to pay an initial partial filing fee in this case.
To make such a showing, Fredin must submit not only his jail
account statement, but statements from all financial accounts
in Fredin's possession, including checking and savings
 The “true” date of filing
for purposes of calculating the initial partial filing fee is
likely a few days earlier. Under Rule 4(c) of the Federal
Rules of Appellate Procedure, a notice of appeal submitted by
a prisoner is deemed filed as of the date that the notice of
appeal is deposited in the detention facility's internal
mail system. Fredin's notice of appeal is dated March 17,
2019, but he has not included a declaration or notarized
statement setting out the date of deposit, and the postmark
on the envelope used to send the notice of appeal
unfortunately is illegible, ...