Kim v. Earthgrains Co., No. 01 C 3895, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jun. 24, 2010) (Cox, Mag. J.).
Judge Cox denied defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s patent claims regarding a bread formulation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(A). The Court held that plaintiff made false statements on her in forma pauperis ("IFP") application. The normal remedy for false IFP application statements was dismissal of the applicant’s case.
But that remedy was not appropriate in this case because plaintiff had not "reaped the benefits" of IFP status. Plaintiff financed her own case for over nine years by mortgaging her house, using credit cards and borrowing from friends and family. Plaintiff only applied for IFP status after the Court suggested it, and only enjoyed its benefits for ten months. And while plaintiff made false statements, they were all either contradicted elsewhere in the application or the false statements tended to portray plaintiff as wealthier than she was. The consumers, therefore, suggested plaintiff misunderstood the question. While the Court did not dismiss plaintiff’s claims, the Court did sanction plaintiff pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 11 for her false statement. Plaintiff was ordered to pay for here legal services received from pro bono counsel. The Court, however, observed the fees and costs were not likely recoverable unless plaintiff won at trial.