Grimes v. Simpson et al

Filing 8

MEMORANDUM & ORDER denying 7 Motion to Appoint Counsel. Signed by Chief Judge Thomas B. Russell on 8/25/2010. cc:counsel (KJA)

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Grimes v. Simpson et al Doc. 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY AT PADUCAH CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:10CV-P109-R RODNEY GRIMES v. THOMAS SIMPSON et al. MEMORANDUM AND ORDER This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel (DN 7). He claims that he is unable to afford counsel and that the issues are very complex. In a civil case such as this action brought under 42 U.S.C. 1983, appointment of counsel is not a constitutional right. Lavado v. Keohane, 992 F.2d 601, 605 (6th Cir. 1993). Title 28 of the United States Code, Section 1915(e)(1)1 indicates that court-enlisted assistance of counsel is not mandatory but merely a matter of discretion. See, e.g., Childs v. Pellegrin, 822 F.2d 1382, 1384 (6th Cir. 1987) ("`[T]he appointment of counsel in a civil case is, as is the privilege of proceeding in forma pauperis, a matter within the discretion of the court. It is a privilege and not a right.") (quoting United States v. Madden, 352 F.2d 792, 793 (9th Cir. 1965)). "`It is a privilege that is justified only by exceptional circumstances.'" Lavado v. Keohane, 992 F.2d at 606 (quoting Wahl v. McIver, 773 F.2d 1169, 1174 (11th Cir. 1985)). "In determining whether `exceptional circumstances' exist, courts have examined `the type of case and the abilities of the plaintiff to represent himself.' This generally involves a determination of the `complexity of the factual and legal issues involved.'" Id. (citations omitted). DEFENDANTS PLAINTIFF Section 1915(e)(1) provides that "[t]he court may request an attorney to represent any person unable to afford counsel." (emphasis added). 1 Despite Plaintiff's claim to the contrary, the Court does not find that the complexity of the issues in this case necessitates the appointment of counsel at this time. Further, based on the documents filed by Plaintiff thus far, it appears that Plaintiff is articulate and able to represent himself sufficiently at this time. Consequently, the Court finds that Plaintiff has not set forth any "exceptional circumstances" warranting appointment of counsel. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that the motion for appointment of counsel (DN 7) is DENIED. Nothing in this Order shall preclude Plaintiff from requesting appointment of counsel at a future point in this action should circumstances arise to justify such an appointment. Date: August 25, 2010 cc: Plaintiff, pro se Defendant Jasis Bryon General Counsel, Justice & Public Safety Cabinet, Office of Legal Counsel 4413.005 2

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