Arnold v. Corizon Medical Services et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER..IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion to appoint counsel (#3) is DENIED without prejudice. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiffs motion to disclose for joinder of additional parties or amendment of pleadings (#17) is DENIED as moot. Signed by District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr on 10/5/15. (MRS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MICHAEL L. ARNOLD,
CORIZON, INC., et al.,
Case No. 1:15-cv-62 SNLJ
MEMORANDUM and ORDER
This matter is before the Court on plaintiff’s motion to appoint counsel (#3) and
“motion to disclose for joinder of additional parties or amendment of pleadings” (#17).
Plaintiff requests counsel because he says he has no knowledge of the law or how
to litigate a claim and because he is not permitted to seek help from other inmates.
Plaintiff says he lost his last case before this court, No. 1:13-cv-121 SNLJ, because he
was not appointed an attorney. That case, however, was dismissed for failure to exhaust
administrative remedies. Plaintiff claims he has since exhausted his administrative
remedies, and the present case is a refiling of the same claims at issue in 1:13cv121.
The appointment of counsel for an indigent pro se plaintiff lies within the
discretion of the Court. Indigent civil litigants do not have a constitutional or statutory
right to appointed counsel. Stevens v. Redwing, 146 F.3d. 538, 546 (8th Cir. 1998);
Edgington v. Mo. Dept. of Corrections, 52 F.3d. 777, 780 (8th Cir. 1995); Rayes v.
Johnson, 969 F.2d. 700, 702 (8th Cir. 1992). The standard for appointment of counsel in
a civil case involves the weighing of several factors which include the factual complexity
of a matter, the complexity of legal issues, the existence of conflicting testimony, the
ability of the indigent to investigate the facts, and the ability of the indigent to present his
claim. See McCall v. Benson, 114 F.3d 754 (8th Cir. 1997); Stevens, 146 F.3d. at 546;
Edgington, 52 F.3d. at 780; Natchigall v. Class, 48 F.3d. 1076, 1081-82 (8th Cir. 1995);
Johnson v. Williams, 788 F.2d. 1319, 1322-1323 (8th Cir. 1986).
In this matter, the Court finds that appointment of counsel is not mandated at this
time. The plaintiff appears able to litigate this matter. This action appears to involve
straightforward questions of fact rather than complex questions of law, and plaintiff
appears able to clearly present and investigate his claim. The Court will continue to
monitor the progress of this case, and if it appears to this Court that the need arises for
counsel to be appointed, the Court will do so.
As for plaintiff’s “motion to disclose for joinder of additional parties or
amendment of pleadings” (#17), that document appears to contain disclosures required by
the Case Management Order for this case and to reiterate the deadlines set forth by that
Order. Because the “motion” seeks no relief, it will be denied as moot.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion to appoint counsel (#3) is
DENIED without prejudice.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff’s “motion to disclose for joinder of
additional parties or amendment of pleadings” (#17) is DENIED as moot.
Dated this 5th day of October, 2015.
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?