2018 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 15 - Criminal Procedure
RS 15:1186 - Proceedings in forma pauperis

Universal Citation: LA Rev Stat § 15:1186 (2018)

§1186. Proceedings in forma pauperis

A.(1) A prisoner who seeks to bring a civil action or file an appeal or writ application in a civil action without prepayment of fees or security must comply with all requirements for proceeding in forma pauperis except Code of Civil Procedure Article 5183(A)(2) and shall submit a certified copy of the trust fund account statement or institutional equivalent for the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of the petition, notice of appeal, or writ application obtained from the appropriate official of each prison at which the prisoner is or was confined.

(2) If a prisoner brings a civil action or files an appeal or writ application in forma pauperis as authorized by Paragraph (A)(1), the prisoner shall still be required to pay the full amount of a filing fee. The court shall assess and, when funds exist, collect, as a partial payment of any court fees required by law, an initial partial filing fee of twenty percent of the greater of the average monthly deposits to the prisoner's account, or the average monthly balance in the prisoner's account for the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of the petition, notice of appeal, or writ application.

(3) If a prisoner brings a civil action, files an appeal, or files a writ application in which the prisoner is not allowed to proceed as a pauper, the prisoner must pay the required costs in advance. If the prisoner does not pay the costs in advance, the civil action, appeal, or writ application shall be dismissed without prejudice. If the action is dismissed pursuant to this Paragraph, the filing of the suit shall not be considered an interruption of prescription for purposes of Civil Code Article 3463.

B.(1) After payment of the initial partial filing fee, as required by Paragraph (A)(2) of this Section, the prisoner shall be required to make monthly payments of twenty percent of the preceding month's income credited to the prisoner's account. The agency having custody of the prisoner shall forward payments from the prisoner's account to the clerk of the court each time the amount in the account exceeds ten dollars until the filing fees are paid. In no event shall the filing fee collected exceed the amount of fees permitted by statute.

(2)(a) The order granting a prisoner's request to proceed in forma pauperis automatically stays all proceedings, including any service of process, until all costs of court or fees due the clerk by the prisoner in this matter are paid. During the pendency of the stay the prisoner may not take any action to prosecute the suit, including but not limited to filing any pleadings, discovery, or motions other than a motion for voluntary dismissal or a motion to lift the stay because all costs have been paid.

(b) If at any time during the pendency of the action additional costs of court or fees due the clerk by the prisoner accrue and are unpaid by the prisoner, then upon order of the court ex proprio motu or upon motion of the clerk or any other party, the action may be stayed as provided herein until all such additional costs are paid.

(c) If the prisoner does not pay the full court costs or fees within three years from when they are incurred, the suit shall be abandoned and dismissed without prejudice. This provision shall be operative without formal order, but, on the court's own motion or upon ex parte motion of any party, the clerk or other interested person by affidavit which provides that the full court costs and fees have not been paid within three years from when they were incurred, the trial court shall enter a formal order of dismissal as of the date of its abandonment. The order shall be served on the plaintiff pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Article 1313 or 1314, and the plaintiff shall have thirty days from date of service to move to set aside the dismissal. However, the trial court may direct that a contradictory hearing be held prior to dismissal.

(d) The automatic stay shall not apply only if the court makes a written finding that:

(i) The suit is a proceeding for judicial review brought pursuant to R.S. 15:574.11 or R.S. 15:1177;

(ii) The suit is a post-conviction relief or habeas corpus proceeding challenging the fact or duration of confinement in prison; or

(iii) The inmate is in imminent danger of serious physical injury, the suit solely seeks injunctive relief to avoid the danger, and relief is available in the suit which will avert the danger.

C. Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that the allegation of poverty is untrue, or the action or appeal is frivolous, is malicious, fails to state a cause of action, seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

D. If the judgment against a prisoner includes the payment of costs, the prisoner shall be required to pay the full amount of the costs ordered and in the same manner as is provided for filing fees. In no event shall the costs collected exceed the amount of the costs ordered by the court.

E. In actions to which this Part applies, the provisions of this Section, to the extent of any conflict with those of Code of Civil Procedure Article 5181 et seq., apply to the payment of filing fees and costs.

F. If a prisoner has at least three dismissals as described in R.S. 15:1187 but the prisoner does not yet have three dismissals that are final under that Section, and, further, if the prisoner is disqualified from proceeding as a pauper either in federal court by operation of 28 USC 1915(g) or in the courts of another state by operation of a similar law of that state, then the court on its own motion may, or on motion of a party shall, stay all proceedings in any other prisoner suit or appeal in which the prisoner is proceeding as a pauper until such time as the dismissals become final. This Subsection shall not apply if the court finds that the prisoner is in imminent danger of serious physical injury.

Acts 1997, No. 731, §1, eff. July 9, 1997; Acts 1998, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 110, §1, eff. May 5, 1998; Acts 1999, No. 1123, §1; Acts 2001, No. 827, §1; Acts 2002, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 89, §2, eff. April 18, 2002; Acts 2005, No. 460, §1.

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