If you are on public assistance or have income less than 125% of the federalpoverty level, attach papers to your in forma pauperis application that explainthis to the court. These extra papers could be things like your public assistanceaward letter or a pay stub. You should black out your Social Security Numberon wage stubs or public assistance papers or other documents that you attach toyour in forma pauperis application.The added papers you attach to your in forma pauperis application help show thecourt that there is a legal presumption that you qualify for in forma pauperis.If you are involved in a case that is already going on, you can apply at any laterstage of the case if you then become unable to pay the court costs.
Bates v.Dept. of Culture,
694 So. 2d 294 (La. App. 1st Cir. 1996). You should applybefore the costs are due from you.
Can I qualify for
in form a pauperis
if my income is above 125% of thefederal poverty level?
Even if your income is more than 125% of poverty, you may qualify for
The court that gets your in forma pauperis application is supposed to look atwhether you really can pay court fees and costs in advance.The Louisiana Supreme Court said this when finding that a person did not have toget rid of a modest home and its furniture to come up with the money for courtcosts: "the courts have taken a realistic view as to the litigant's actual ability toadvance or secure court costs out of net income available for that purpose, afterpayment of reasonable living expenses and debts, and in view of unencumbered[no mortgages or liens] property other than a modest family residence."
Benjamin v. National Super Markets, Inc.
, 351 So. 2d 138, 140 (La. 1977).
Who decides my application for in forma pauperis?
Generally, the court will review your
in forma pauperis
application and enter anorder either granting or denying it.
What if the court says no and denies my in forma pauperis application?
You may apply to the correct appellate court for "supervisory writs" to try to getthat higher court to overturn the trial court's denial of your in forma pauperisapplication.The appellate court must consider your supervisory writ application on an
denial without asking you to pay a filing fee.
Riebow v. Riebow
,705 So.2d 1086 (La. 1998).A writ application should be filed quickly. In cases involving district or city courts,a supervisory writ application must be filed by the earlier of the deadline set bythe trial court or 30 days after the date of the court's ruling. Be sure to file within30 days of the court's first ruling to be on the safe side.
What costs are covered if the court says yes to my in forma pauperisapplication?
Virtually all costs. For example, the fees of the clerk, sheriff, court reporter,witness fees, jury costs and costs of a devolutive appeal and supervisory writs arecovered by law.
Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure, Article 5185(A).In a Louisiana state court lawsuit,
in forma pauperis
status will not entitle you toa suspensive appeal without a bond or an interlocutory injunction which requiresa bond.
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