United States District Court, W.D. Texas, San Antonio Division
PAUL A. SIMMONS, Plaintiff,
VANGUARD RESOURCES INC., Defendant.
ELIZABETH S. ("BETSY") CHESTNEY UNITED STATES
the Court in the above-styled cause of action are
Plaintiff's pro se Application to Proceed in
District Court without Prepaying Fees or Costs and proposed
civil complaint, filed July 16, 2019 [#1]. The motion was
automatically referred to the undersigned upon filing, and
the undersigned has authority to enter this order pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). By his motion, Plaintiff seeks
leave to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”) based
on his inability to afford court fees and costs. Having
considered the motion and documentation provided by
Plaintiff, the Court will grant the motion to proceed IFP and
order that his proposed Complaint be docketed but require
Plaintiff to file a more definite statement before ordering
service of his Complaint on Defendant.
Motion to Proceed IFP
parties instituting any civil action, suit, or proceeding in
a district court of the United States, except an application
for a writ of habeas corpus, must pay a filing fee of $350,
as well as an administrative fee. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1914(a). Plaintiff's motion to proceed IFP
includes his income and asset information, which indicates
that Plaintiff is unemployed and does not have any other
regular income. Plaintiff claims to have only $10, 000 in his
checking or savings account and has one dependent, a
daughter, for whom he is responsible as to clothing, food,
and college tuition. Plaintiff carries debts in the form of a
mortgage and automobile loan. The information demonstrates
that Plaintiff does not have sufficient monthly resources
available to pay the filing fee, and the Court will grant the
motion to proceed IFP.
More Definite Statement
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court is empowered to screen
any civil complaint filed by a party proceeding IFP to
determine whether the claims presented are (1) frivolous or
malicious; (2) fail to state a claim on which relief may be
granted; or (3) seek monetary relief against a defendant who
is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). Plaintiff's Complaint sues Vanguard
Resources, Inc., his former employer, under Title VII, 42
U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., and the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621,
et seq. Plaintiff alleges that he was the victim of
race and age discrimination in employment when he was
terminated for the stated reason of using a client's
truck without permission for his personal gain. The record
demonstrates that Plaintiff filed charges against Defendant
with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and
received a right to sue letter on April 20, 2019.
on these facts, it appears that Plaintiff properly exhausted
his administrative remedies before filing suit and timely
filed this action. However, to state a plausible claim of
race or age discrimination, Plaintiff must allege some facts
suggesting that his termination was due to his race or age.
Aside from identifying the race of his supervisor as
Caucasian, Plaintiff has not done so. Accordingly, the Court
will order Plaintiff to file a more definite statement
clarifying the following: (1) any ways in which he claims
Defendant discriminated against him because of his race or
age; and (2) the factual basis for his assertion that
Defendant's actions were based on his age or race.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff's pro
se Application to Proceed in District Court without
Prepaying Fees or Costs [#1] is GRANTED.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's Complaint
[#1-1] shall be filed by the Clerk without prepayment of
fees, costs or the giving of security therefore, and the
Clerk shall, until further Order of this Court, waive the
collection of any other fees or costs from Plaintiff.
Service upon Defendant should be withheld pending this
Court's review under § 1915(e).
IS FURTHER ORDERED that within 21 days of
this Order, Plaintiff shall file a More
Definite Statement of the claims he seeks to present
to this Court. In this More Definite Statement, Plaintiff
should respond to the following instructions and questions:
(1) Please describe any ways in which you claim Defendant
discriminated against you because of your race or age, such
as your termination or other discriminatory conduct during
(2) Please describe the factual basis for your assertion that
Defendant's actions were due to your age or your race?
For example, were other employees who do not share your race
or age treated differently or more favorably under similar
shall include the following declaration at the end of his
more definite statement:
I declare, under penalty of perjury under the laws of the
United States of America, that the foregoing is ...