Harland v. Wyandotte County Jail et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ENTERED: Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 3 ) is granted. Plaintiff's motion to appoint counsel (Doc. 4 ) is denied. Plaintiff is granted to and including June 30, 2021, to provide additional d etails supporting his claims as explained herein. The clerk of the court shall transmit a form pleading and instructions to plaintiff. Signed by U.S. Senior District Judge Sam A. Crow on 06/04/21. Mailed to pro se party Ikem Harland by regular mail. (smnd)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
CASE NO. 21-2248-SAC
WYANDOTTE COUNTY JAIL, et al.,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is a civil rights action filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff proceeds pro se, and the court grants leave to proceed in
The court has conducted an initial review of the complaint and
will direct plaintiff to provide, to the best of his ability, a
statement of “what each defendant did to him or her; when the defendant
did it; how the defendant's action harmed him or her; and, what
violated.” Nasious v. Two Unknown B.I.C.E. Agents, at Arapahoe County
Justice Center, 492 F.3d 1158, 1163 (10th Cir. 2007) (describing what
a complaint must explain to state a claim).
Plaintiff also moves for the appointment of counsel. There is
no constitutional right to the appointment of counsel in a civil
matter. Carper v. Deland, 54 F.3d 613, 616 (10th Cir. 1995); Durre v.
Dempsey, 869 F.2d 543, 547 (10th Cir. 1989). Rather, the decision
whether to appoint counsel in a civil action lies in the discretion
of the district court. Williams v. Meese, 926 F.2d 994, 996 (10th Cir.
1991). The party seeking the appointment of counsel has the burden
to convince the court that the claims presented have sufficient merit
to warrant the appointment of counsel. Steffey v. Orman, 461 F.3d 1218,
1223 (10th Cir. 2016)(citing Hill v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 393 F.3d
1111, 1115 (10th Cir. 2004)). It is not enough “that having counsel
appointed would have assisted [the movant] in presenting his strongest
possible case, [as] the same could be said in any case.” Steffey, 461
F.3d at 1223 (citing Rucks v. Boergermann, 57 F.3d 978, 979 (10th Cir.
1995)). The Court should consider “the merits of the prisoner’s
claims, the nature and complexity of the factual and legal issues,
and the prisoner’s ability to investigate the facts and present his
claims.” Rucks, 57 F.3d at 979.
The court declines to appoint counsel at this time. Plaintiff
has not provided specific factual allegations and has not identified
any individual defendant, and it is difficult to determine the
potential merit of his claims or the complexity of the issues
presented. The court will reconsider the request upon the development
of the record.
IT IS, THEREFORE, BY THE COURT ORDERED plaintiff’s motion to
proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 3) is granted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED plaintiff’s motion to appoint counsel (Doc.
4) is denied.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED plaintiff is granted to and including June
30, 2021, to provide additional details supporting his claims as
explained herein. The clerk of the court shall transmit a form pleading
and instructions to plaintiff to guide him.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
This 4th day of June, 2021, at Topeka, Kansas.
S/ Sam A. Crow
SAM A. CROW
U.S. Senior District Judge
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