Carter v. Derr et al
ORDER denying 8 Motion to Appoint Counsel. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joseph H L Perez-Montes on 3/8/2018. (crt,Haik, K)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:18-CV-00068
JACQUE DERR, ET AL.,
MAGISTRATE JUDGE PEREZ-MONTES
Plaintiff Lane Carter (“Carter”) filed a Motion to Appoint Counsel (Doc. 8).
Carter claims that he cannot afford to retain an attorney, and that he needs the
assistance of an attorney to investigate and prosecute the case.
The law in the Fifth Circuit is settled that, “[g]enerally speaking, no right to
counsel exists in Section 1983 action.” See Jackson v. Cain, 864 F.3d 1235 (5th Cir.
1989). Appointment of counsel in such actions is authorized only in “exceptional
circumstances.” See Archie v. Christian, 812 F.2d 250, 253 (5th Cir. 1987). In
Robbins v. Maggio, 750 F.2d 405, 412 (5th Cir. 1985), the court stated that, although
no comprehensive definition of “exceptional circumstances” is practical, the existence
of such circumstances will turn on the quality of the case and the abilities of the
individual bringing it.
The test was further elaborated in Jackson v. Dallas Police Dept., 811 F.2d
160, 261-62 (5th Cir. 1986), in which the court held that the presence of exceptional
circumstances involved consideration of several factors, including the type and
complexity of the case, the indigent’s ability to adequately investigate and present
his claims, and the degree of skill necessary to present the case at trial. See also,
Norton v. Dimazana, 122 F.3d 286, 293 (5th Cir. 1997).
A review of the record in this case reveals no exceptional circumstances
warranting appointment of counsel at this time.
The legal issues involve the
application of well-established and long-standing principles and the factual issues
are simple. The circumstances surrounding Carter’s claims are not particularly
complex or unusual. No exceptional skill or ability will be necessary to present the
case at trial. While the Court has no specific information regarding Carter’s abilities,
he has demonstrated that he is capable of drafting a complaint and a motion.
Accordingly, the Motion to Appoint Counsel (Doc. 8) is DENIED.
THUS DONE AND SIGNED in Alexandria, Louisiana, this 8th day of March,
JOSEPH H.L. PEREZ-MONTES
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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