MORRIS SHEPPARD ARNOLD, Circuit Judge.
Gary Lefkowitz, a federal inmate, appeals from two district court
Mr. Lefkowitz was president of Citi-Equity Group, Inc. (CEG), a California corporation that formed real estate limited partnerships to build low and moderate-income housing. Mr. Lefkowitz and CEG were general partners of these limited partnerships. In 1994, Mr. Lefkowitz was charged in a 47count
The bankruptcy court granted CEG summary judgment on Mr. Lefkowitz's fiduciary duty and accounting claims, concluding that Mr. Lefkowitz had failed to produce any evidence showing a breach of a fiduciary duty or any resulting damages. The bankruptcy court further held that, because CEG had represented in discovery that it no longer had the requested records to enable it to produce an accounting, no further relief for an accounting could be granted. The bankruptcy court also denied Mr. Lefkowitz's motion for recusal. Mr. Lefkowitz appealed these orders to the district court, which affirmed, concluding that a court-ordered accounting was not required because Mr. Lefkowitz had access to records through the discovery process, and that Mr. Lefkowitz had failed to sustain his burden of proving that CEG breached a fiduciary duty. The district court also concluded that the bankruptcy court did not abuse its discretion in denying the recusal motion.
Mr. Lefkowitz filed two notices of appeal and applied to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP). After the district court denied Mr. Lefkowitz IFP status because he failed to submit a certified copy of his trust account statement under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2), Mr. Lefkowitz challenged the imposition of the PLRA's prisoner filing fee requirements, arguing that such requirements applied only to civil rights cases filed by prisoners challenging their conditions of confinement, and alternatively, that the filing fee requirements violated his equal protection rights and his rights of access to the courts. The district court rejected these arguments, and ordered Mr. Lefkowitz to pay an initial partial filing fee in each of his two appeals. Mr. Lefkowitz has appealed those orders.
We also conclude the motion for recusal was properly denied, as Mr. Lefkowitz
With respect to Mr. Lefkowitz's constitutional challenges to the PLRA's prisoner filing fee requirements, we agree with our fellow circuits that these fee provisions do not deny prisoners constitutionally guaranteed access to courts. See, e.g., Tucker v. Branker, 142 F.3d 1294, 1297-1300 (D.C.Cir. 1998) (and cases cited therein). We also conclude that Congress had a rational basis for treating prisoners differently from non-prisoners by requiring them to pay the filing fees (albeit in installments), i.e., that Congress has a legitimate interest in curbing meritless prisoner litigation, and that making indigent prisoners partially responsible for the costs of their litigation would decrease the amount of such meritless litigation. See Christiansen v. Clarke, No. 97-1511, slip op. at 4-5, ___ F.3d ____, ___- ____ (8th Cir. May 29, 1998); Nicholas v. Tucker, 114 F.3d 17, 20-21 (2d Cir.1997), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ____, 118 S.Ct. 1812, 140 L.Ed.2d 950 (1998); Roller v. Gunn, 107 F.3d 227, 233-34 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 118 S.Ct. 192, 139 L.Ed.2d 130 (1997). Thus, Mr. Lefkowitz's equal protection challenge fails.
Mr. Lefkowitz argues that the twenty-percent-of-income rule in section 1915(b)(1) (initial partial filing fee should be assessed on basis of 20% of average monthly deposits or 6-month average balance in prisoner account) should be applied on a per inmate basis, rather than on a per case basis. We disagree. Because the PLRA fee provisions were designed to require prisoners to bear financial responsibility for each action they take, the twenty-percent rule should be applied per case. See Newlin v. Helman, 123 F.3d 429, 436 (7th Cir.1997), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 118 S.Ct. 707, 139 L.Ed.2d 649 (1998).
Accordingly, we affirm the judgments of the district court. Mr. Lefkowitz's motion to recuse two circuit judges is denied as moot.