In Re: Valerie Banks Cooper
MEMORANDUM ORDER denying without prejudice 8 MOTION to Appoint Counsel filed by Valerie Banks Cooper. Setting briefing schedule re 4 MOTION to Dismiss Based upon Due to Appellant's Failure to File Brief : (Answering Brief due 7/18/2012., Reply Brief due 8/8/2012.). Signed by Judge Sue L. Robinson on 6/18/2012. (fms)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE
VALERIE BANKS COOPER,
) Bk. No. 10-12222-BLS
) Chapter 7
VALERIE BANKS COOPER,
GOLDMAN SACHS MORTGAGE
) Civ. No. 11-791-SLR
At Wilmington this
l~i"' day of June, 2012, having considered appellant's
motion for appointment of counsel, appellee's motion to dismiss and the papers
submitted in connection therewith;
IT IS ORDERED that:
1. Appellant's motion for appointment of counsel is denied without prejudice.
(D. I. 8) Appellant avers that she needs counsel to effectively proceed and "because
[her] former counsel was intimidated in his representation ... in this matter." (D.I. 8)
Appellant provides no further explanation of said intimidation or related problems.
2. A pro se litigant proceeding in forma pauperis has no constitutional or
statutory right to representation by counsel. See Ray v. Robinson, 640 F.2d 474, 477
(3d Cir. 1981); Parham v. Johnson, 126 F.3d 454, 456-57 (3d Cir. 1997). It is within the
court's discretion to seek representation by counsel for appellant, and this effort is
made only "upon a showing of special circumstances indicating the likelihood of
substantial prejudice to [appellant] resulting ... from [appellant's] probable inability
without such assistance to present the facts and legal issues to the court in a complex
but arguably meritorious case." Smith-Bey v. Petsock, 741 F.2d 22, 26 (3d Cir. 1984);
accord Tabron v. Grace, 6 F.3d 147, 155 (3d Cir. 1993) (representation by counsel may
be appropriate under certain circumstances, after a finding that an appellant's claim has
arguable merit in fact and law).
3. The record reflects that appellant possesses the ability to coherently and
adequately pursue her claims. It appears that, at least from the papers filed with the
appeal, appellant proceeded without counsel in the underlying bankruptcy proceeding
and, after an adverse ruling, elected to file the action at bar. There is no evidence that
prejudice will result in the absence of counsel. Should the need for counsel arise later,
however, the court can address the issue at that time.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the time in which to respond to appellee's
motion to dismiss (D. I. 4) is amended. Appellant shall file her opposition on or before
July 18, 2012. Appellee's reply is due by August 8, 2012.
United States D tnct Judge
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