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In forma pauperis (IFP) is Latin for "in the form of a pauper." IFP status is generally granted to those who show that they do not have the resources to pay the filing fee. 

To apply for IFP status, you must use the Court's Application to Proceed Without Prepaying Fees or Costs. If the judge grants your request, you can proceed in forma pauperis, or IFP. Permission to proceed IFP only entitles a plaintiff to file an action without prepaying the filing fee and without paying the costs to serve the complaint upon the defendant(s). Proceeding IFP does not mean that you will not have to pay other costs, such as witness fees.