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Supreme Court to decide whether indigent plaintiffs can amend their complaints

The US Supreme Court [official website] granted certiorari [order list, PDF] Monday in Burnside v. Walters [docket; cert. petition, PDF] to determine whether the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit erred in holding [opinion, PDF] that the in forma pauperis (IFP) statute [28 USC § 1915(e)(2)] prohibits indigent plaintiffs from amending their complaints. Arkansas resident William David Burnside, proceeding IFP, filed suit against Memphis police officers and other defendants for providing false information that led to his arrest. The district court sua sponte dismissed his complaint without allowing him leave to amend. There is a circuit split on this issue.

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