Jackson v. Stevens et al

Filing 116

ORDER denying 115 Motion to Appoint Counsel. Ordered by Judge Hugh Lawson on 7/1/2010. (nbp)

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Jackson v. Stevens Doc. 116 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA M ACON DIVISION TONY JACKSON, P l a i n t i f f, v. BRE NDA STEVENS, D e fe n d a n t. ______________________________ : : : : : : : : : Civil Action No. 5:07-CV-136 (HL) OR D E R B efore the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Appoint Counsel (Doc. 115). P laintiff's case brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 is scheduled for trial on J uly 12, 2010. Plaintiff is proceeding pro se. On April 30, 2007, Plaintiff filed a motion to appoint counsel (Doc. 8). The m otion was denied by United States Magistrate Judge Claude W . Hicks Jr. as being prem ature (Doc. 10). On January 2, 2008, Plaintiff again moved the Court to appoint c ouns el (Doc. 31). Judge Hicks denied that motion in an order filed on January 3, 2008 (Doc. 37). Plaintiff has moved again for the appointment of counsel. There is no absolute Constitutional entitlement to appointed counsel in pris oner civil rights actions. Kilgo v. Ricks, 983 F.2d 189, 193 (11th Cir. 1993). Rather, court appointed counsel in civil cases is warranted only in "exceptional c irc um s tanc es ." Steele v. Shah, 87 F.3d 1266, 1271 (11th Cir. 1996). To determine w hether a case is exceptional, the key inquiry is "whether the pro se litigant needs Dockets.Justia.com help in presenting the essential merits of his or her position to the court. W here the fac ts and issues are simple, he or she usually w ill not need such help." Kilgo, 983 F.2d at 193. In other words, "[t]he existence of [exceptional] circumstances will turn on the quality of tw o basic factors­the type and complexity of the case, and the abilities of the individual bringing it." W illiam s v. Grant, 639 F. Supp. 2d 1377, 1378 (S .D. Ga. 2009) (citation omitted). P laintiff has presented no exceptional circumstances in this case. The allegations are straightforward. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant was deliberately indifferent to a substantial risk of serious harm, and that her indifference resulted in P laintiff being attacked by another inmate. As a result, Plaintiff claims that he has s u f f e red permanent injury to his left hand. If Plaintiff's situation constituted an exc eptional circumstance, nearly all pro se litigants could satisfy the high burden that w arrants the appointment of counsel. The Motion to Appoint Counsel (Doc. 115) is denied. S O ORDERED, this the 1s t day of July, 2010. s/ Hugh Lawson HUGH LAWSON, SENIOR JUDGE m bh 2

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