Rufus v. Chapman et al
ORDER denying 42 Motion to Appoint Counsel. Ordered by U.S. Mag. Judge Charles H. Weigle on 10/14/11.(mgb) ***
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
MICHAEL ALONZA RUFUS,
NO. 3:11-CV-74 (CAR)
Proceedings Under 42 U.S.C. §1983
Before the U.S. Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff Michael Alonza Rufus has filed a motion requesting that this Court appoint counsel
to represent him in his lawsuit brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Doc. 42. Generally, no right
to counsel exists in civil rights actions. See Wahl v. McIver, 773 F.2d 1169, 1174 (11th Cir. 1986);
Hardwick v. Ault, 517 F.2d 295, 298 (5th Cir. 1975). Appointment of counsel is a privilege that is
justified only by exceptional circumstances. Lopez v. Reyes, 692 F.2d 15, 17 (5th Cir. 1982). In
deciding whether legal counsel should be provided, the Court considers, among other factors, the
merits of the plaintiff's claim and the complexity of the issues presented. Holt v. Ford, 682 F.2d
850, 853 (11th Cir. 1989).
In accordance with Holt, and upon a review of the record in this case, the Court notes that
the Plaintiff has set forth the essential factual allegations underlying his claims, and that the
applicable legal doctrines are readily apparent. As such, his Motion to Appoint Counsel is
DENIED. Should it later become apparent that legal assistance is required in order to avoid
prejudice to the Plaintiff’s rights, the Court, on its own motion, will consider assisting him in
securing legal counsel at that time. Consequently, there is no need for the Plaintiff to file additional
requests for counsel.
SO ORDERED, this the 14th day of October, 2011.
s/ Charles H. Weigle
Charles H. Weigle
United States Magistrate Judge
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