Schram v. Department of Health and Human Services et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER that plaintiff's 49 Motion to Appoint Counsel is denied without prejudice to reassertion. Ordered by Senior Judge Richard G. Kopf. (Copy mailed to pro se party)(ADB)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA
LISA LAURELL, Social Worker;
SHANNON BLACK, Program Director;
and CINDY DYKEMAN, Program
Plaintiff has filed a Motion (Filing No. 49) seeking the appointment of
counsel. The court cannot routinely appoint counsel in civil cases. In Davis v.
Scott, 94 F.3d 444, 447 (8th Cir. 1996), the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
explained that “[i]ndigent civil litigants do not have a constitutional or statutory
right to appointed counsel.” Trial courts have “broad discretion to decide whether
both the plaintiff and the court will benefit from the appointment of counsel, taking
into account the factual and legal complexity of the case, the presence or absence
of conflicting testimony, and the plaintiff’s ability to investigate the facts and
present his claim.” Id.
The court sees no benefit to counsel at this time. To date, Plaintiff has filed a
complaint, an amended complaint, a supplemental complaint, declarations from
other civilly-committed patients, a declaration for entry of default judgment, and
interrogatories to opposing counsel. This case involves a retaliation claim against
Defendants stemming from the same basic threat: to send Plaintiff to Norfolk
Regional Center in response to his statements of intent to file a grievance. Should
this matter proceed to trial, Plaintiff may again request the appointment of counsel.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that: Plaintiff’s Motion to Appoint Counsel
(Filing No. 49) is denied without prejudice to reassertion.
Dated this 28th day of August, 2017.
BY THE COURT:
s/ Richard G. Kopf
Senior United States District Judge
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