Atkinson v. State of CT Dept of Mental Health & Addiction Svcs
ORDER denying plaintiff's 49 Motion to Appoint Counsel; denying plaintiff's 50 Motion for Reconsideration. See attached ruling. Signed by Judge Donna F. Martinez on 10/11/11. (Nichols, J.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
STATE OF CONNECTICUT DEPT. OF
MENTAL HEALTH & ADDICTION
CASE NO. 3:10CV1015(RNC)
RULING ON MOTIONS
Pending before the court are the plaintiff's third Motion
for Appointed Counsel, doc. #49, and Motion for Reconsideration,
doc. #50, of the court's June 1, 2011 order denying the
plaintiff's second motion for appointed counsel.
The issue and arguments raised in the two motions are
Therefore, although the court denies the motion for
reconsideration as untimely under Local Rule 7(c),1 the court
addresses the plaintiff's arguments in connection with her
Motion to Appoint Counsel.
The plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration was filed nearly
four months after the order denying appointed counsel. Under
Local Rule 7(c), motions for reconsideration must be filed
within fourteen days of the order from which relief is sought.
See, e.g., Jeffreys v. United Technologies Corp., No.
3:97CV01344(DJS), 2008 WL 4371973 (D. Conn. Sept. 24, 2008)
(denying reconsideration where pro se litigant filed motion
three months late).
A party in a civil case is not entitled to appointment of a
free lawyer on request.
170 (2d Cir. 1989).
See Cooper v. A. Sargenti Co., 877 F.2d
The Second Circuit repeatedly has cautioned
the district courts against the routine appointment of counsel.
See, e.g., Hendricks v. Coughlin, 114 F.3d 390, 393 (2d Cir.
1997); Cooper, 877 F.2d at 172.
It has made clear that before
an appointment is even considered, the indigent person must
demonstrate that he is unable to obtain counsel.
Police Officers, 802 F.2d 58, 61 (2d Cir. 1986), cert. denied,
502 U.S. 996 (1991).
Because volunteer-lawyer time is in short
supply, a plaintiff seeking appointment of a free lawyer must
also demonstrate that his or her complaint passes the test of
See Cooper, 877 F.2d at 173.
requires a plaintiff to show that the claims in the complaint
have a sufficient basis to justify appointing a volunteer lawyer
to pursue them.
The plaintiff states that she has "no idea as to why I am
constantly being denied legal representation."
(Doc. #49 at 1.)
The court indicated on two prior occasions, see docs. #38 and
#14, that it was unable to determine the likely merit of the
plaintiff's case based on the submissions attached to the
The plaintiff's third motion to appoint
counsel reiterates the plaintiff's allegations of unfair
treatment but does not provide any new information on which the
court could base a finding of likely legal merit.
The plaintiff's Motion for Appointed Counsel is therefore
DENIED without prejudice.
SO ORDERED at Hartford, Connecticut this 11th day of
Donna F. Martinez
United States Magistrate Judge
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