Docks v. Department of Homeland Security
OPINION AND ORDER denying 38 Motion for Reconsideration of Order on Motion to Appoint Counsel, filed by Quentin T Docks. Docks is not entitled to court appointed counsel. He is is WARNED that future motions requesting the same relief may result in sanctions. Signed by Magistrate Judge Andrew P Rodovich on 1/27/14. cc: Docks (mc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
QUENTIN T. DOCKS,
JANET NAPOLITANO, DEPARTMENT
OF HOMELAND SECURITY
OPINION AND ORDER
This matter is before the court on the Motion to Reconsider Appointment of Legal
Counsel [DE 38] filed on November 12, 2013.
The plaintiff, Quentin T. Docks, filed his first motion for appointment of counsel on June
23, 2010. The court denied his motion, advising Docks that he must submit an affidavit of his
efforts to secure counsel. Docks filed an affidavit and asked the court to reconsider his motion.
The court denied his motion to reconsider, explaining that the record reflected that Docks was
literate and coherent. On June 21, 2012, the court issued a show cause order because, although
Docks served the Department of Homeland Security, he failed to serve the United States
Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana. Docks subsequently served the United States
Attorney as directed and filed a second motion to reconsider the denial of his motion to appoint
counsel on July 19, 2012. His motion reiterated the history of the case and asked the court to
appoint him an attorney without providing any further explanation why he was unable to
represent himself. Docks now asks the court for a fourth time to appoint counsel. He again
reiterated the history of the case and his efforts to retain counsel indepenently.
The court does not appoint an attorney to every litigant who faces a financial hardship.
Rather, the court must weigh the complexity of the case with the apparent abilities of the litigant
as reflected by the docket. Gruenberg v. Gempeler, 697 F.3d 573, 581 (7th Cir. 2012); Pruitt v.
Mote, 503 F.3d 647, 656 (7th Cir. 2007). As explained in the previous Order, Docks has made
no effort to demonstrate that he is incapable of representing himself. His filings are legible and
comprehensible, and he has demonstrated that he understands and can comply with court orders.
Absent some demonstration that he lacks the capabilities to advocate on his behalf, Docks is not
entitled to court appointed counsel and his motion is DENIED.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 states that the court may impose sanctions on a party
for filing frivolous motions. Because this is the plaintiff’s fourth motion requesting the
appointment of counsel and he has not demonstrate new grounds on which counsel may be
warranted, the plaintiff is WARNED that future motions requesting the same relief may result in
ENTERED this 27th day of January, 2014
/s/ Andrew P. Rodovich
United States Magistrate Judge
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