Thurmond v. Southfield, City of et al

Filing 166

ORDER CONDITIONALLY ASSIGNING COUNSEL - Signed by Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen. (CCie)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN SOUTHERN DIVISION DAWAN PIERCE THURMOND, Plaintiff, v. Case No. 15-13167 District Judge Laurie J. Michelson Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen CITY OF SOUTHFIELD, et al., Defendants. _____________________________/ ORDER CONDITIONALLY ASSIGNING COUNSEL On March 14, 2017, the Court granted in part and denied in part Defendants’ Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. See Order [Doc. #163]. The sole surviving Defendant is Southfield Police Sgt. Porter, against whom Fourth Amendment/Sec. 1983 claims based on seizure of money and alleged use of excessive force remain. Unlike criminal cases, there is no constitutional or statutory right to the appointment of counsel in civil cases. Rather, the Court requests members of the bar to assist in appropriate cases. In Lavado v. Keohane, 992 F.2d 601, 605-606 (6th Cir. 1993), the Sixth Circuit noted that “[a]ppointment of counsel in a civil case is not a constitutional right. It is a privilege that is justified only by exceptional circumstances.” (Internal quotations and citations omitted). The Plaintiff having survived dismissal as to the sec. 1983 claims against Sgt. Porter, I am persuaded that this is a case where the assignment of pro bono counsel is justified, and that permitting Plaintiff to be represented by counsel would be of great benefit to the parties and the Court. -1- Therefore, the Court will order the appointment of pro bono counsel, conditioned on procuring pro bono counsel within a reasonable time. IT IS SO ORDERED. s/R. Steven Whalen R. STEVEN WHALEN United States Magistrate Judge Dated: March 20, 2017 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was sent to parties of record on March 20, 2017, electronically and/or by U.S. mail. s/Carolyn M. Ciesla Case Manager -2-

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