Kulhanek v. Griffith et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs motion for appointment of counsel (Doc. No. 63 ) is DENIED without prejudice. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall provide this Court with a response within fifteen (15) days of this order identifying what documents and video footage he asserts will support his claim, as well as a description of each items relevance to the case. Signed by District Judge John A. Ross on 1/30/20. (JAB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
CINDY GRIFFITH, et. al,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s motions for appointment of counsel (Doc.
No. 63) and to reopen discovery (Doc. No. 64). Plaintiff seeks appointment of counsel because
he claims to have limited legal knowledge, his case has become more complex, and his current
housing in administrative segregation makes it difficult for him to conduct fact investigation and
gain access to legal materials. Although the Court has discretion to appoint counsel when
necessary, there is no constitutional right for a pro se plaintiff to have counsel appointed in a
civil case. Chambers v. Pennycook, 641 F.3d 898, 909 (8th Cir. 2011); Phillips v. Jasper County
Jail, 437 F.3d. 791, 794 (8th Cir. 2006). Among the factors a court should consider in making
this determination are the factual and legal complexity of the case, the ability of the plaintiff to
present the facts and his claims, and the degree to which the plaintiff and the court would benefit
from such an appointment. Phillips, 437 F.3d. at 794.
On May 28, 2019, the Court denied Plaintiff’s previous motion for appointment of
counsel because the case was neither factually nor legally complex and Plaintiff had shown that
he could adequately present his claims to the Court. (Doc. No. 38). Upon review of the record,
the Court again concludes that this case is neither factually nor legally complex and that Plaintiff
has aptly demonstrated his ability to present his claims. Thus, the Court will deny Plaintiff’s
motion for appointment of counsel.
Plaintiff also requests that the Court reopen discovery so that he can better oppose
Defendants’ motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. No. 64). In his motion, Plaintiff states that
he “will need documents the Defendants possess as well as video footage” to defend his claim.
(Doc. No. 64). Yet, Plaintiff neither specifies what documents or footage he is seeking nor
explains how these items would be relevant to his claim. Without this information, the Court
cannot rule on Plaintiff’s motion to reopen discovery. Therefore, the Court will direct Plaintiff
to identify and explain the relevancy of the documents and video footage he seeks.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion for appointment of counsel (Doc.
No. 63) is DENIED without prejudice.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall provide this Court with a response
within fifteen (15) days of this order identifying what documents and video footage he asserts
will support his claim, as well as a description of each item’s relevance to the case.
Dated this 30th day of January, 2020.
JOHN A. ROSS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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