Rogers v. Brouk et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's Motion for Court-Appointed Counsel (#42) and plaintiff's Motion to Compel (#44) are DENIED. Signed by District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr on 2/13/2017. (JMC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
COREY JEMELL ROGERS,
STEVEN BROUK, et al.,
Case No. 4:16-cv-1088 SNLJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Before the Court are two motions (#42 & #44) by the plaintiff Corey Rogers.
Each motion has been responded to by the defendants. For the following reasons, both
motions are denied.
Plaintiff’s Motion for Court-Appointed Counsel (#42)
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, 48 F.3d. at 1080-81; 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. Plaintiff argues that he requires counsel because of issues relating to discovery.
Plaintiff has filed three motions to produce, indicating his ability to successfully prepare
and present his arguments to the Court. The plaintiff continues to be able to litigate this
matter, and nothing has occurred to indicate any need to appoint counsel at this point in
time. This action still appears to involve straightforward questions of fact rather than
complex questions of law, and plaintiff appears able to clearly present and investigate his
Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel (#44)
The instant motion will be construed as plaintiff’s third motion to compel relating
to the production of documents relevant to past mistreatment of inmates by the
defendants in this case. Specifically, plaintiff seeks any and all grievances, complaints,
or other documents received by the defendants or their agents at Potosi Correctional
Center concerning the mistreatment of inmates by the defendants and any memoranda,
investigative files or other documents to such complaints from these defendants starting
from when the defendant was employed through October 25, 2016. Plaintiff’s first and
second motions pertaining to this request were denied because plaintiff failed to comply
with Local Rule 37-3.04(a). The Court did not address plaintiff’s motions on the merits.
This Court will construe plaintiff’s instant motion as complying with the local rule
and thus ripe to address on the merits. Defendants argue that the information requested is
contained within closed personnel records and not available to produce to an inmate
pursuant to Missouri Department of Corrections (“MDOC”) policies and Missouri state
law. This Court is inclined to agree with the defendants. Plaintiff’s request necessarily
must come from a combination of MDOC employees’ personnel files and MDOC
individual offender’s files. These files are closed records under state law. See §
610.021(13) and § 217.075(3).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s Motion for Court-Appointed Counsel
(#42) and plaintiff’s Motion to Compel (#44) are DENIED.
So ordered this 13th day of February, 2017.
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?