United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Federal and Local Rules of Appellate Procedure
December 1, 2014
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Rule 24. Proceeding in Forma Pauperis

Rule 24. Proceeding in Forma Pauperis
 
(a) Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis.
 
(1) Motion in the District Court. Except as stated in Rule 24(a)(3), a party to a district-court action who desires to appeal in forma pauperis must file a motion in the district court. The party must attach an affidavit that:
 
(A) shows in the detail prescribed by Form 4 of the Appendix of Forms, the party's inability to pay or to give security for fees and costs;
 
(B) claims an entitlement to redress; and
 
(C) states the issues that the party intends to present on appeal.
 
(2) Action on the Motion. If the district court grants the motion, the party may proceed on appeal without prepaying or giving security for fees and costs, unless a statute provides otherwise. If the district court denies the motion, it must state its reasons in writing.
 
(3) Prior Approval. A party who was permitted to proceed in forma pauperis in the district-court action, or who was determined to be financially unable to obtain an adequate defense in a criminal case, may proceed on appeal in forma pauperis without further authorization, unless:
 
(A) the district court — before or after the notice of appeal is filed — certifies that the appeal is not taken in good faith or finds that the party is not otherwise entitled to proceed in forma pauperis and states in writing its reasons for the certification or finding; or
 
(B) a statute provides otherwise.
 
(4) Notice of District Court's Denial. The district clerk must immediately notify the parties and the court of appeals when the district court does any of the following:
 
(A) denies a motion to proceed on appeal in forma pauperis;
 
(B) certifies that the appeal is not taken in good faith; or
 
(C) finds that the party is not otherwise entitled to proceed in forma pauperis.
 
(5) Motion in the Court of Appeals. A party may file a motion to proceed on appeal in forma pauperis in the court of appeals within 30 days after service of the notice prescribed in Rule 24(a)(4). The motion must include a copy of the affidavit filed in the district court and the district court's statement of reasons for its action. If no affidavit was filed in the district court, the party must include the affidavit prescribed by Rule 24(a)(1).
 
(b) Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis on Appeal from the United States Tax Court or on Appeal or Review of an Administrative-Agency Proceeding. A party may file in the court of appeals a motion for leave to proceed on appeal in forma pauperis with an affidavit prescribed by Rule 24(a)(1):
 
(1) in an appeal from the United States Tax Court; and
 
(2) when an appeal or review of a proceeding before an administrative agency, board, commission, or officer proceeds directly in the court of appeals.
 
(c) Leave to Use Original Record. A party allowed to proceed on appeal in forma pauperis may request that the appeal be heard on the original record without reproducing any part.
 
 
Local Rule 24. Prisoner Appeals.
(a) Payment of Fees and Costs Required. A prisoner appealing a judgment in a civil action must pay in full the $505 fee required for commencement of the appeal. A prisoner who is unable to prepay this fee may apply to pay the fee in installments by filing with the Court of Appeals (1) an application to proceed without prepayment of fees; (2) a certified copy of the prisoner's trust fund account statement or institutional equivalent for the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of the notice of appeal, obtained from the appropriate official of each prison at which the prisoner is or was confined; and (3) a form consenting to the collection of fees from the prisoner's trust account.
The Court of Appeals will assess an initial partial filing fee of 20% of the greater of:
(1) the average monthly deposits to the prisoner's account for the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of the notice of appeal; or
(2) the average monthly balance in the prisoner's account for the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of the notice of appeal.
Based upon the prisoner's consent, the Court will direct the agency having custody of the prisoner to collect this initial partial fee from the prisoner's trust account, and to collect the remainder of the $505 filing fee, as well as any other fees, costs, or sanctions imposed by the Court of Appeals, in monthly installments of 20% of the preceding month's deposits 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 district court each time the amount in the account exceeds $10 until all fees, costs, and sanctions are paid for the appeal.
If a prisoner proceeding under this rule fails to file the forms or make the payments required by the Court, the appeal will be dismissed pursuant to Local Rule 45.
(b) Effect of Prior Actions and Appeals. A prisoner who has, on three or more prior occasions, while incarcerated or detained in any facility, brought an action or appeal in a court of the United States that was dismissed on the grounds that it was frivolous, malicious, or failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, may not proceed on appeal without prepayment of fees unless the prisoner is under imminent danger of serious physical injury.
 
 
 
Local Rule 24 adopted September 25, 1996; amended November 1, 2003, April 27, 2006, and December 1, 2013.