BOBBY BATTLE, et al.,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
LARRY FIELDS, Director; DAN REYNOLDS, Warden of Oklahoma State Penitentiary; CALVINO S. MUSE; HUGH REED; WILLIAM EVANS; PHIL DESSAUER; JOE R. MANNING; GREGORY H. HALL; DANIEL BINTZ, members of the Oklahoma Board of Corrections,
Before BRORBY, KELLY, and MURPHY, Circuit Judges.
Appellant, Simon Toppah, is a member of the plaintiff class in a lawsuit initiated by named-plaintiff, Bobby Battle, in 1972 (the "Battle litigation"). The Battle litigation involves claims that inmates incarcerated in Oklahoma prisons are deprived of numerous constitutional rights. A settlement proposed in the Battle litigation provided for the dismissal of some of the claims. Toppah received notice of the proposed settlement and was given the opportunity to object.
After receiving notice of the proposed settlement, Toppah filed a form entitled Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis and Supporting Declaration (the "ifp motion") with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma. The form contains a line whereon the movant must indicate the nature of the action for which he seeks in forma pauperis status. On this line, Toppah wrote: Filing of Objections' to Proposed Class Settlement and Urgence for Reinstatement/Modification/Enforcement of Native Americans Religious Rights.
On the same day Toppah filed his ifp motion, he also filed objections to the proposed settlement in the Battle litigation. The district court subsequently allowed Toppah to amend his objections to the proposed settlement but denied his ifp motion as moot.
In this appeal, Toppah argues the district court erred when it concluded his ifp motion was moot. Toppah's claim lacks merit. In his ifp motion, Toppah specifically indicated he was seeking in forma pauperis status in order to file objections to the proposed settlement in the Battle litigation. The district court allowed Toppah to file those objections without paying any fees. Thus, Toppah has suffered no cognizable injury from the denial of his ifp motion and he has no standing. See Northeastern Fla. Chapter of the Associated Gen. Contractors of Am. v. City of Jacksonville, 508 U.S. 656, 663 (1993) (reiterating that a plaintiff lacks standing unless he can demonstrate that he has suffered an "injury in fact"). The district court properly concluded that Toppah's motion was moot.
Upon review of the appellate briefs filed in this matter and de novo review of the entire record on appeal, this court agrees with the district court's conclusion that Toppah's ifp motion is moot and we, therefore, affirm the dismissal of his motion.
ENTERED FOR THE COURT
MICHAEL R. MURPHY
*. This order and judgment is not binding precedent, except under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata and collateral estoppel. The court generally disfavors the citation of orders and judgments; nevertheless, an order and judgment may be cited under the terms and conditions of 10th Cir. R. 36.3.