Wednesday, July 06, 2016

IFP - denial - reasons

Lynch v. Gittelmacher – Cmwlth. Court – Kjune 8, 2016 – unreported* memorandum opinion

The lower court erred when it denied an IFP petition without giving reasons.  Pa. R.C.P. No. 240 (c)(3) requires that , “ If the petition is denied, in whole or in part, the court shall briefly state its reasons.”

An order denying in forma pauperis status in a civil case is a final and appealable order because “[a] litigant who is denied the ability to bring a cause of action due to his true inability to pay the costs is effectively put out of court.” Grant v. Blaine, 868 A.2d 400, 402-03 (Pa. 2005).

“A trial court’s belated 1925(a) opinion does not cure this problem, since the brief statement of reasons enables the party to correct any defects in the petition and the 1925(a) opinion does not.” Goldstein v. Haband Company, Inc., 814 A.2d 1214, 1215 (Pa. Super. 2002).

*An unreported Commonwealth Court case may not be cited binding precedent but can be cited for its persuasive value.  See 210 Pa. Code § 69.414(b) and Pa. R.A.P.  3716

If the case is old, the link may have become stale and may not work, but you can use the case name, court, and date to find the opinion in another source (e.g., Westlaw, Lexis, Google Scholar)