Davis v. Jomp, et al.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER -....IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel is DENIED without prejudice. [Doc. 45]. Signed by District Judge Charles A. Shaw on 4/20/2017. (MRC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
FREDERICK P. DAVIS,
JOHN JOMP, et al.,
No. 4:16-CV-229 CAS
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This prisoner civil rights matter under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is before the Court on plaintiff’s
motion for appointment of counsel. The appointment of counsel for an indigent pro se plaintiff lies
within the discretion of the Court, as there is no constitutional or statutory right to appointed counsel
in civil cases. Phillips v. Jasper County Jail, 437 F.3d 791, 794 (8th Cir. 2006) (citation omitted);
see 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) (“The court may request an attorney to represent any person unable to
Once the plaintiff alleges a prima facie claim, the Court must determine the plaintiff’s need
for counsel to litigate his claim effectively. In re Lane, 801 F.2d 1040, 1043 (8th Cir. 1986). The
standard for appointment of counsel in a civil case is whether both the plaintiff and the Court would
benefit from the assistance of counsel. Edgington v. Missouri Dept. of Corrections, 52 F.3d 777,
780 (8th Cir. 1995), abrogated on other grounds by Doe v. Cassel, 403 F.3d 986, 989 (8th Cir.
2005). (citations omitted). This determination involves the consideration of several relevant criteria
which include “the factual complexity of the issues, the ability of the indigent person to investigate
the facts, the existence of conflicting testimony, the ability of the indigent person to present the
claims, and the complexity of the legal arguments.” Phillips, 437 F.3d at 794 (citing Edgington, 52
F.3d at 780).
Having considered the relevant criteria, the Court finds that appointment of counsel is not
mandated at this time. The record does not support the need for appointment of counsel at this early
stage of the case where no case management order has been issued or discovery begun, as there is
no indication of conflicting testimony, factual complexity, or that plaintiff is unable to investigate
or present his case. Plaintiff has filed articulate pleadings which indicate he is capable of clear
expression and appropriate organization of content–although the pleadings are too long and include
too much detail–and the Court concludes it would not be aided at this time by the appointment of
counsel. Therefore, the Court will deny plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel without
prejudice. Plaintiff may file another motion for appointment of counsel at a later time, and the Court
may also reconsider the matter on its own motion at a later time.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion for appointment of counsel is DENIED
without prejudice. [Doc. 45]
CHARLES A. SHAW
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 20th day of April, 2017.
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