Jackson (ID 77685) v. King et al

Filing 24

ORDER ENTERED: Plaintiff's Motion to Appoint Counsel 20 is denied without prejudice. Plaintiff shall file his Amended Complaint within 14 days of this Order. Signed by Magistrate Judge David J. Waxse on 07/12/17. Mailed to pro se party Anthony T. Jackson by regular mail. (smnd)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS ANTHONY T. JACKSON, Plaintiff, v. Case No. 15-3183-DDC-DJW AMANDA KING, et al., Defendants. ORDER The matter before the Court is on Plaintiff’s Motion to Appoint Counsel (Doc. 20). Defendants responded to the motion (Doc. 23); Plaintiff did not file a reply, and the time to do so has passed. There is no constitutional right to appointment of counsel in a civil case. Durre v. Dempsey, 869 F.2d 543, 547 (10th Cir. 1989); Carper v. Deland, 54 F.3d 613, 616 (10th Cir. 1995). The decision whether to appoint counsel in a civil matter lies in the discretion of the district court. Williams v. Meese, 926 F.2d 994, 996 (10th Cir. 1991). “The burden is on the applicant to convince the court that there is sufficient merit to his claim to warrant the appointment of counsel.” Steffey v. Orman, 461 F.3d 1218, 1223 (10th Cir. 2006)(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 prisoner] 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). In deciding whether to appoint counsel, the district 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; Hill, 393 F.3d at 1115. Considering the above factors, and the reasons set forth in Defendants’ response (Doc. 23), the Court concludes in this case that (1) it is not clear at this juncture that Plaintiff has asserted a colorable claim; (2) the issues are not complex; and (3) Plaintiff appears capable of adequately presenting facts and arguments. Accordingly, the Court denies Plaintiff’s motions to appoint counsel at this time. However, this denial is without prejudice. If it becomes apparent that appointed counsel is necessary as this case further progresses, Plaintiff may renew his motion. IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED BY THE COURT that Plaintiff’s Motion to Appoint Counsel (Doc. 20) is denied without prejudice. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall file his Amended Complaint within 14 days of this Order. Dated July 12, 2017, at Kansas City, Kansas. s/ David J. Waxse David J. Waxse U.S. Magistrate Judge 2

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