Collins v. Bridges et al
ORDER denying 96 Motion to Appoint Counsel. Ordered by Judge Hugh Lawson on 11/22/2011. (nbp)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
BRANDON BRIDGES, et al.,
Case No. 5:09-cv-109 (HL)
Before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion to Appoint Counsel (Doc. 96). This
Motion marks Plaintiff’s fifth request for counsel, and the Motion is denied.
“A plaintiff in a civil case has no constitutional right to counsel.” Bass v.
Perrin, 170 F.3d 1312, 1320 (11th Cir. 1999). It is within the court’s discretion to
appoint counsel for civil plaintiffs unable to retain an attorney on their own, but
appointment is appropriate “only in exceptional circumstances.” Id. These
exceptional circumstances exist “where the facts and legal issues are so novel or
complex as to require the assistance of a trained practitioner.” Fowler v. Jones,
899 F.2d 1088, 1096 (11th Cir. 1990).
In this case, neither the facts nor the legal issues are complicated enough
to justify the appointment of counsel. To the contrary, Plaintiff has represented
himself pro se since the start of this case in March 2009. Since then, he has
navigated through a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc. 43), as well as
a Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 75). By surviving these dispositive
motions, Plaintiff has proven to the Court that he is able to articulate the facts
and legal issues to the Court with clarity. Thus, the Court is unconvinced that the
Plaintiff’s case involves the kind of “exceptional circumstances” that would merit
appointment of an attorney.
SO ORDERED, this 22nd day of November, 2011.
s/ Hugh Lawson
HUGH LAWSON, SENIOR JUDGE
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