Young v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
ORDER STRIKING 3 Motion to Amend/Correct and Motion for Summary Judgment; DENYING as Moot 4 Motion to Strike; GRANTING IN PART 12 Motion to Withdraw AND DENYING 12 Motion to Appoint Counsel. Signed by Magistrate Judge Elizabeth A. Stafford. (MarW)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 15-cv-11028
Honorable Marianne O. Battani
Magistrate Judge Elizabeth A. Stafford
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
PLAINTIFF’S MOTION [R. 12], AND DENYING DEFENDANT’S
MOTION TO STRIKE [R. 4] AS MOOT
On March 19, 2015, Defendant Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
(“MetLife”) removed the instant case to this court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1331 and 29 U.S.C. § 1132(e)(f), as the case involves a dispute over
employee benefits, governed by a plan covered by the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), 29 U.S.C. §§1002,
1132(a)(1)(B). On April 10, 2015, plaintiff LaShawn Young moved to
amend his complaint and for summary judgment. [R. 3]. On April 15,
MetLife moved to strike the motion, claiming it was untimely filed. [R. 4].
On May 19, 2015, the Court held a scheduling conference in this
matter. Acknowledging that this case is procedurally bound by the holding
of Wilkins v. Baptist Healthcare Sys., Inc., 150 F.3d 609, 69 (6th Cir. 1998),
the Court orally requested that Young withdraw his motion for summary
judgment and refile it, along with any additional argument he wished to
make, after MetLife had filed the administrative record with the Court, so
that his filing would properly cite the administrative record as filed. Thus,
Young has moved to withdraw his motion for summary judgment, and that
motion [R. 12] is GRANTED IN RELEVANT PART, and MetLife’s motion to
strike that filing [R. 4] is DENIED AS MOOT.
In his motion, Young included a separate request for appointment of
counsel, asserting that he needs counsel to ameliorate the “severe
emotional distress, mental anguish, financial hardship, etc[.], caused by
MetLife’s negligence, [and] plaintiff’s former manager committing perjury
against plaintiff . . . etc[.],”. [R. 4, PgID 98].
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1), “[t]he court may request an
attorney to represent any person unable to afford counsel.” Appointment of
counsel under § 1915(e)(1) is not a constitutional right in a civil action; a
district court is vested with broad discretion to determine whether
“exceptional circumstances” warrant such an appointment. Lavado v.
Keohane, 992 F.2d 601, 604-06 (6th Cir. 1993). In making this
determination, the Court considers the nature of the case, the party’s ability
to represent himself, the complexity of the legal and factual issues, and
whether the claims being presented are frivolous or have a small likelihood
of success. Id. Appointment of counsel pursuant to § 1915(e)(1) is rare
because “there are no funds appropriated to pay a lawyer or to even
reimburse a lawyer’s expense.” Clarke v. Blais, 473 F. Supp. 2d 124, 125
(D. Me. 2007).
Having review Young’s case filings to this point, and considering the
relevant factors, the Court finds that Young has not proffered the existence
of exceptional circumstances to merit the appointment of counsel at this
juncture. Therefore, Young’s motion [R. 12] is DENIED IN PART
WITHOUT PREJUDICE to the extent it seeks appointment of counsel.
For the foregoing reasons, Young’s motion [R. 12] is GRANTED IN
PART AND DENIED IN PART as stated above. MetLife’s motion [R. 4] is
DENIED AS MOOT and Young’s motion for summary judgment [R. 3] is
STRICKEN as being voluntarily withdrawn.
Dated: May 28, 2015
s/Elizabeth A. Stafford
ELIZABETH A. STAFFORD
United States Magistrate Judge
NOTICE TO THE PARTIES REGARDING OBJECTIONS
The parties’ attention is drawn to Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a), which
provides a period of fourteen (14) days from the date of receipt of a copy of
this order within which to file objections for consideration by the district
judge under 28 U.S. C. §636(b)(1).
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
The undersigned certifies that the foregoing document was served upon
counsel of record and any unrepresented parties via the Court’s ECF
System to their respective email or First Class U.S. mail addresses
disclosed on the Notice of Electronic Filing on May 28, 2015.
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