Washburn (ID 82688) v. Trego County Jail
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ENTERED: Officials responsible for the operation of the Trego County Jail are directed to undertake a review of the subject matter of the complaint. Upon completion of the review, a written report shall be compiled. The report shall be filed on or before February 27, 2018. Petitioner's motion to appoint counsel 3 is denied. See Memorandum and Order for details. Signed by U.S. Senior District Judge Sam A. Crow on 11/29/17. Mailed to pro se party Allen Dean Washburn by regular mail. (This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no.pdf document associated with this entry.) (smnd)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
ALLEN DEAN WASHBURN,
CASE NO. 17-3108-SAC
TREGO COUNTY JAIL, et al.,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is a civil rights complaint filed by a prisoner
currently held in state custody. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma
Plaintiff submitted an amended complaint as directed by the
Court; however, because the complaint does not identify any individual
plaintiff’s claims cannot be achieved without additional information
from appropriate officials of the Trego County Jail. See Martinez v.
Aaron, 570 F.2d 317 (10th Cir. 1978). See also Hall v. Bellmon, 935
F.2d 1106 (10th Cir. 1991).
Motion to appoint counsel
Plaintiff moves for the appointment of counsel (Doc. #3).
As a party in a civil action, plaintiff has no constitutional right
to the appointment of counsel. Durre v. Dempsey, 869 F.2d 543, 547
(10th Cir. 1989). Instead, where a party is proceeding in forma
pauperis “[t]he court may request an attorney to represent any person
unable to afford counsel.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). In deciding whether
to appoint counsel, a court should consider factors including the
merits of the party’s claims, the nature of the factual issues, the
party’s ability to present his claims, and the relative complexity
of the legal issues involved. Rucks v. Boergermann, 57 F.3d 978, 979
(10th Cir. 1995). “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)
(quoting Hill v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 393 F.3d 1111, 1115 (10th
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 (quoting Rucks, 57 F.3d 978 at 979).
At this point, the Court finds that the amended complaint does
not present factual or legal issues that are unusually complex, and
it appears that plaintiff is able to explain the nature of the claims.
The Court therefore will deny the motion without prejudice.
IT IS, THEREFORE, BY THE COURT ORDERED:
Officials responsible for the operation of the Trego County
Jail are directed to undertake a review of the subject matter
of the complaint:
a. To ascertain the facts and circumstances;
b. To consider whether any action can and should be taken
by the institution to resolve the subject matter of the
c. To determine whether other like complaints, whether
pending in this court or elsewhere, are related to this
complaint and should be considered together.
Upon completion of the review, a written report shall be
compiled. Statements of all witnesses shall be in affidavit
form. Copies of pertinent rules, regulations, official
documents, and, wherever appropriate, the reports of medical
or psychiatric examinations shall be included in the written
Authorization is granted to the officials of the Trego County
Jail to interview all witnesses having knowledge of the
facts, including the plaintiff.
Discovery by plaintiff shall not commence until plaintiff
has received the report ordered herein. This action is
exempted from the requirements imposed under Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(a) and 26(f).
The report shall be filed on or before February 27, 2018.
Copies of this order shall be transmitted to the plaintiff,
the Sheriff of Trego County, and the Finance Office of the
facility where plaintiff currently is incarcerated.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED petitioner’s motion to appoint counsel
(Doc. #3) is denied.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
This 29th day of November, 2017, at Topeka, Kansas.
S/ Sam A. Crow
SAM A. CROW
U.S. Senior District Judge
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