Hamilton v. Singleton et al

Filing 50

ORDER denying 34 Motion for a Court Appointed Expert. Signed by Honorable Barry A. Bryant on March 28, 2014. (mll)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS TEXARKANA DIVISION TED HAMILTON v. PLAINTIFF Civil No. 4:13-cv-4038 JAMES SINGLETON; JOAN MCCLEAN; JOHNNY GODBOLT; and STEPHEN GLOVER DEFENDANTS ORDER Before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion for a Court Appointed Expert (ECF No. 34). The Defendants did not respond. The Court finds this matter ripe for consideration. In his Motion, Plaintiff moves the Court to appoint an expert in orthopedics and to order Defendants to pay for such expert. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 706 the Court may appoint an expert witness on the motion of either party and order the parties to share the costs of the expert. Here, however, the Court finds an orthopedic expert unnecessary as the medical records in the record clearly demonstrate the relevant facts at issue. Further, the Court will not order Defendants to bear the sole burden of an expert requested by Plaintiff. See Paschall v. Kansas City Star Co., 695 F.2d 322, 339 (8th Cir.1982) (expert witness fees are not recoverable as costs unless the testimony of the expert was indispensable or crucial to the issues decided in the case). Plaintiff’s requests that Defendant pay for the cost of an expert to support Plaintiff’s claim is premature. Lastly, the Court will not appoint an expert witness to testify in support of Plaintiff’s claim 1 at the cost of the government. Even though Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis in this matter, 28 U.S. C. § 1915 does not authorize the payment of Plaintiff’s cost incurred in litigating this section 1983 claim. U.S. Marshals v. Means, 741 F.2d 1053, 1057 (8th Cir. 1984). More specifically, Congress has not authorized the payment of an in forma pauperis plaintiff’s expert witness fees. See Hannah v. United States, 523 F.3d 597, 601 (5th Cir. 2008); see also Kruitbosch v. Van De Veire, 978 F.2d 1267 (10th Cir.1992) (“Congress has not made provision for payment of expert witness fees for indigent plaintiffs in civil actions.”). Accordingly, Plaintiff’s Motion for a Court Appointed Expert (ECF No. 34) is DENIED. IT IS SO ORDERED this 28th day of March 2014. /s/ Barry A. Bryant HON. BARRY A. BRYANT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 2

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