Povez v. Caratazzola, DMH et al
Judge F. Dennis Saylor, IV: ORDER entered denying 4 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis; denying 2 Motion to Appoint Counsel. Plaintiff must pay $350 filing fee and submit signed copy of the complaint within 42 days. (PSSA, 3)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
PAUL CARATAZZOLA, DMH, et al.,
Civil Action No.
On February 13, 2013, inmate Janleer Povez filed a self-prepared complaint and motions
for appointment of counsel and for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
Povez did not sign any of the documents, as required by law. The plaintiff is
directed to file a signed copy of his complaint within 42 days of the date of this Order. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 11(a) (“Every pleading, written motion, and other paper must be signed by . . . a party
personally if the party is unrepresented. . . . The court must strike an unsigned paper unless the
omission is promptly corrected after being called to the attorney’s or part’'s attention.”). Failure
to do so will result in dismissal of this action without prejudice.
The motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (#4) is DENIED. Povez
appears to have adequate funds to prepay the filing fee. If Povez wishes to proceed with this
action, he must, within 42 days of the date of this Order pay the $350 filing fee. Failure to do so
will result in dismissal of this action without prejudice. Once the fee is paid, the complaint will
be subject to an initial screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and the filing fee will not be
refunded to the plaintiff if the case is dismissed upon an initial screening or anytime thereafter.
The Clerk shall send a copy of this Order to the treasurer of the facility having custody of the
plaintiff to facilitate any request by the plaintiff for the filing fee payment to be forwarded to the
The motion for appointment of counsel (#2) is DENIED WITHOUT
PREJUDICE. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1), the Court “may request an attorney to represent
any person unable to afford counsel.” 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(1). However, a civil plaintiff lacks a
constitutional right to free counsel. See DesRosiers v. Moran, 949 F.2d 15, 23 (1st Cir. Cir.
1991). To qualify for appointment of counsel, a party must be indigent and exceptional
circumstances must exist such that the denial of counsel will result in fundamental unfairness
impinging on the party's due process rights. See id. To determine whether there are exceptional
circumstances sufficient to warrant the appointment of counsel, a court must examine the total
situation, focusing on the merits of the case, the complexity of the legal issues, and the litigant's
ability to represent himself. See id. at 24.
Here, because the filing fee has not been resolved, summonses have not issued, and the
defendants have not been required to respond, the Court cannot yet determine whether this case
presents exceptional circumstances that would justify the appointment of pro bono counsel. The
Court therefore denies the motion without prejudice to renewal after the defendants have
responded to the complaint.
/s/ F. Dennis Saylor
F. Dennis Saylor IV
United States District Judge
Dated: March 5, 2013
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