Massey v. Branham et al
ORDER denying 33 Motion to Produce; denying 10 Motion to Appoint Counsel; denying 10 Motion for Issuance of Subpoena; denying 12 Motion for Discovery; denying 17 Motion to Produce; denying 22 Motion for Issuance of Subpoena; denying 22 Motion to Produce. Signed by Magistrate Judge Shiva V Hodges on 10/27/2014.(abuc)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
John K. Massey Jr.,
J.T. Branham and York County,
C/A No.: 0:14-1876-JFA-SVH
Plaintiff John K. Massey Jr., proceeding pro se, originally filed this matter in the
Court of Common Pleas for York County, South Carolina. [ECF No. 1-1]. J.T. Branham
and York County (“Defendants”) removed the action to this court on May 9, 2014. [ECF
No. 1]. This matter comes before the court on the following motions of Plaintiff: (1)
motion to appoint counsel [ECF No. 10]; (2) motion for discovery [ECF No. 12]; (2)
motions to produce [ECF Nos. 17, 33]; and (4) motions for issuance of subpoena [ECF
Nos. 10, 22].
Motion to Appoint Counsel
There is no right to appointed counsel in civil rights cases. Cf. Hardwick v. Ault,
517 F.2d 295, 298 (5th Cir. 1975). While the court is granted the power to exercise its
discretion to appoint counsel for an indigent in a civil action, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1),
Smith v. Blackledge, 451 F.2d 1201 (4th Cir. 1971), such appointment “should be allowed
only in exceptional cases.” Cook v. Bounds, 518 F.2d 779, 780 (4th Cir. 1975). Plaintiff
in his motion has not shown that any exceptional circumstances exist in this case. After a
review of the file, this court has determined that there are no exceptional or unusual
circumstances presented which would justify the appointment of counsel, nor would
Plaintiff be denied due process if an attorney were not appointed. Whisenant v. Yuam,
739 F.2d 160 (4th Cir. 1984). In most civil rights cases, the issues are not complex, and
whenever such a case brought by an uncounseled litigant goes to trial, the court outlines
proper procedure so the uncounseled litigant will not be deprived of a fair opportunity to
present his case. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s request for a discretionary appointment of
counsel under 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(1) [ECF No. 10] is denied.
Plaintiff’s remaining motions [ECF Nos. 10, 12, 17, 22, and 33] all seek discovery
related to the history of all arrests made by Branham or the criminal procedure related to
Plaintiff’s arrests. However, because Plaintiff is not challenging the legal justification of
his arrests [ECF No. 23 at 4], he has failed to show that he is entitled to discovery on
these issues. In fact, because Plaintiff has not stated a claim upon which relief can be
granted,1 Plaintiff has not shown that he is entitled to discovery. Therefore, the
undersigned denies Plaintiff’s motions for discovery [ECF Nos. 10, 12, 17, 22, and 33].
IT IS SO ORDERED.
October 27, 2014
Columbia, South Carolina
Shiva V. Hodges
United States Magistrate Judge
The undersigned has issued a report and recommendation contemporaneously with this
order that recommends this case be dismissed for Plaintiff’s failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted.
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