Quinones v. USA
ORDER granting in part and denying in part 5 Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Conduct Discovery. Plaintiff's Motion to submit discovery requests to Defendants is GRANTED. Plaintiff's request for counsel is DENIED without prejudice, and Plaintiff's Motion to take depositions and consult with medical experts is DENIED without prejudice. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joe J. Volpe on 4/3/2013. (srw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Pending before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion To Conduct Discovery, including submitting
discovery requests to Defendants, taking depositions, and consulting with medical witnesses (Doc.
No. 5.) In the alternative, Plaintiff asks the Court to appoint counsel.
To the extent that Plaintiff asks to submit discovery requests to the Defendants, his Motion
With respect to Plaintiff’s request for counsel, a civil litigant does not have a constitutional
or statutory right to appointed counsel in a civil action. Wiggins v. Sargent, 753 F.2d 663, 668 (8th
Cir. 1985). However, the Court may appoint counsel at its discretion. Id. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(1). In determining whether to appoint counsel, the Court must exercise “a reasoned and
well-informed discretion.” Sours v. Norris, 782 F.2d 106, 107 (8th Cir. 1986). “The appointment
of counsel ‘should be given serious consideration . . . if the plaintiff has not alleged a frivolous or
malicious claim’ and the pleadings state a prima facie case.” Rayes v. Johnson, 969 F.2d 700, 703
(8th Cir. 1992) (quoting In Re Lane, 801 F.2d 1040, 1043 (8th Cir. 1986). The United States Court
of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has identified several factors the Court should consider when
deciding a request for appointment of counsel. Id. These factors include the plaintiff’s need for an
attorney, the likelihood that plaintiff will benefit from assistance of counsel, the factual complexity
of the case, the plaintiff’s ability to investigate and present his case, and the complexity of the legal
issues. Id. At this time, Plaintiff’s claims do not appear legally or factually complex, and it appears
that he is capable of prosecuting his claims without appointed counsel. Therefore, Plaintiff’s
alternative request for counsel is DENIED without prejudice.
With regard to Plaintiff’s request to take depositions, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
require that the party seeking to depose a witness bears the recording costs. FED.R.CIV.P. 30(b)(3).
Given Plaintiff’s indigent status, it appears Plaintiff would be unable to bear this expense.
Therefore, if Plaintiff wishes to pursue a deposition, he must first arrange for payment of recording
the deposition. Finally, Plaintiff will also bear the expense of obtaining a medical expert at this
stage of the proceedings. Therefore, Plaintiff’s Motion to take depositions and consult with medical
experts is DENIED without prejudice.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 3rd day of April, 2013.
JOE J. VOLPE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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