PIRL v. RINGLING et al
ORDER denying without prejudice Motion to Appoint Counsel 56 . Signed by Magistrate Judge Maureen P. Kelly on 4/28/21. (akr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
SERGEANT, MAJOR RINGLING,
FACILITY MANAGER ERIC TICE, and
THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
Civil Action No. 19-208J
District Judge Kim R. Gibson
Magistrate Judge Maureen P. Kelly
Re: ECF No. 56
Plaintiff Demetrius Pirl (“Plaintiff”), an inmate presently confined at the State Correctional
Institution at Frackville (“SCI-Frackville”), has presented a civil rights complaint which he has
been granted leave to prosecute in forma pauperis. ECF Nos. 5 and 6. This action arises out of
an incident in which a prison official allegedly told other inmates that Plaintiff was a “rat.”
Plaintiff claims that this conduct placed him at risk of harm, and it ultimately resulted in another
inmate attacking Plaintiff. ECF No. 6.
After the parties completed fact discovery, Defendants filed a Motion for Summary
Judgment. ECF No. 39. On March 29, 2021, a pending Report and Recommendation was
submitted, recommending that the Motion for Summary Judgment be granted in part and denied
in part, and that certain of Plaintiff’s claims be permitted to proceed. ECF No. 51. Defendants
did not file Objections to the Report and Recommendation by the April 26, 2021 deadline. ECF
No. 56. At his request, the Court granted Plaintiff an extension of time until May 14, 2021 to file
Objections. ECF No. 58.
Presently before this Court is Plaintiff’s renewed Motion for Appointment of Counsel, ECF
No. 56, which requires the Court to determine whether, under the facts and circumstances of this
case, the Court should exercise its discretion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) and request an
attorney to represent Plaintiff in the prosecution of this action. 1
In the instant Motion, Plaintiff requests that counsel be appointed for the purpose of
conducting further investigation and to represent him in his jury trial. ECF No. 56 at 2. Plaintiff
also notes that he is undergoing medical treatment at a different facility until April 19, 2021, where
he does not have access to his legal materials. Id. at 1-2.
Upon review, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s Motion should be denied without prejudice.
To the extent Plaintiff seeks counsel in order to conduct further discovery, the Court notes that fact
discovery has been completed in this matter. The Court also granted Plaintiff an extension of time
to file his Objections, if any, to the Report and Recommendation in order to address any concerns
arising out of his temporary relocation to another facility for medical treatment.
In addition, for the reasons set forth in the Court’s Order dated March 9, 2020, ECF No.
14, and because consideration of the factors set forth in Tabron v. Grace, 6 F.3d 147 (3d Cir. 1993)
does not warrant the appointment of counsel in this instance, the Court declines to exercise its
discretion and request counsel to represent plaintiff in the prosecution of this action. See Parham
v. Johnson, 126 F.3d 454, 457 (3d Cir. 1997).
Further, because Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment is still pending and the
parties have not engaged in formal alternative dispute resolution, it is not clear at this juncture
whether Plaintiff’s claims will proceed to trial, or if further proceedings will occur. Given the
This is Plaintiff’s second Motion for the Appointment of Counsel. Plaintiff filed a previous request for counsel at
the pleadings stage of this case, which the Court denied without prejudice. ECF Nos. 11 and 14.
scarcity of pro bono resources, the Court finds that it is appropriate to deny Plaintiff’s request at
the present time. However, Plaintiff may renew this request as appropriate after the Court enters
an Order resolving the Motion for Summary Judgment.
Accordingly, the following Order is entered:
AND NOW, this 28th day of April 2021, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff’s
Motion for Appointment of Counsel, ECF No. 56, is DENIED without prejudice.
In accordance with the Magistrate Judges Act, 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), and Rule 72.C.2 of
the Local Rules of Court, the parties are allowed fourteen (14) days from the date of this Order to
file an appeal to the District Judge which includes the basis for objection to this Order. Any appeal
is to be submitted to the Clerk of Court, United States District Court, 700 Grant Street, Room 3110,
Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Failure to file a timely appeal will constitute a waiver of any appellate
BY THE COURT:
/s/ Maureen P. Kelly_____________
MAUREEN P. KELLY
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
1111 Altamont Boulevard
Frackville, PA 17931
All counsel of record via CM/ECF.
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