Monday, February 2, 2015

What does "In Forma Pauperis" Mean?

As many of you imagine, many disability claimants do not have the funds necessary to be able to file a case in the U.S. District Court.  In order to challenge the decision of a long term disability insurance company or of a Social Security Administrative Law Judge, a claimant must file an action in the District Court.  Although the filing fee in these types of cases is $400.00, there is a way that a claimant who does have these funds can ask the Court to waive these fees.  This petition process is commonly known as a "Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis". 
In Forma Pauperis is a Latin term that literally means "in the form of a pauper".  These motions are generally granted by the court without the need of a hearing.  However, it is important to submit to the court and affidavit signed by the plaintiff explaining their dire financial situation.
In addition, in Federal Court a plaintiff who is allowed to proceed can obtain free service of process through the U.S. Marshall's Office.