MCKINNEY v. HEMSLEY et al
MEMORANDUM/ORDER denying 39 Appeal Magistrate Judge Decision to District Court and the Order of Magistrate Judge Clark (ECF no. 37) is AFFIRMED. Signed by Judge Kevin McNulty on 12/14/16. (DD, ) N/M
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
IVAN G. MCKINNEY,
Civ. No. 14-3564 (KIvI)
Dr. HEMSLEY, et al.,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff, Ivan G. McKinney, appeals from an Order of Magistrate Judge James B. Clark,
Ill, denying his application for appointment ofpro bono counsel. This, one of many civil rights
actions Mr. McKinney has pending in this district, primarily involves allegations regarding the
quality of medical care and other grievances arising from his former incarceration at Bergen
The District Court will reverse a Magistrate Judge’s decision on a non-dispositive motion
only if it is “clearly erroneous or contrary to law.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a); L. Civ. R. 72.1(c)(i)(A).
Where the appeal seeks review of a matter within the discretion of the Magistrate Judge, an
abuse of discretion standard is appropriate. See Cooper Hospital/Univ. Med. Ctr.
F.R.D. 119, 127 (D.N.J. 1998); Deluccia v. City ofPaterson, No. 09-703, 2012 WL 909548, at
1 (D.N.J. March 15, 2012). “This deferential standard is especially appropriate where the
Magistrate Judge has managed this case from the outset and developed a thorough knowledge of
the proceedings.” Lithuanian Commerce Corp., Ltd. v. Sara Lee Hosiery, 177 F.R.D. 205, 214
(D.N.J. l997)(internal quotations omitted); see Deluccia, 2012 WL 909548, at *1 (same).
Judge Clark’s Order (ECF no. 37) properly invokes the applicable legal standard under
Tabron v. Grace, 6 F.3d 147, 155 (3d Cir. 1993). Appointment ofpro bono counsel is a
discretionary decision that will depend on the circumstances and the progress of the individual
case. Judge Clark noted that I had denied an earlier request for pro bono counsel without
prejudice to renewal, “depending on the development of the claims and the facts in the pretrial
discovery process.” (Order at 2, quoting ECF no. 5 at 18) Discovery remains in its early stages. It
seemed to Judge Clark, and I agree, that the situation had not changed sufficiently to dictate
appointment of counsel at this time. Among other things, it is still difficult or impossible to
make even a preliminary assessment of the merits.
Accordingly, IT IS this 14th day of December, 2016,
ORDERED that the appeal (ECF no. 39) is DENIED, and the Order of Magistrate Judge
Clark (ECF no. 37) is AFFIRMED, for the reasons expressed in that Order.
United States District Judge
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