Abdullah v. Downing
ORDER denying the plaintiff's 18 motion to appoint counsel. Signed by Magistrate Judge Paige J. Gossett on 10/17/2017. (bgoo)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Kenneth Downing, Captain, individually and )
C/A No. 0:17-1961-DCN-PJG
Plaintiff Rahim Abdullah, proceeding pro se, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
alleging a violation of his constitutional rights. This matter is before the court on the plaintiff’s
motion for appointment of counsel. (ECF No. 18.)
There is no right to appointed counsel in § 1983 cases. Hardwick v. Ault, 517 F.2d 295 (5th
Cir. 1975). The court may use its discretion to request counsel to represent an indigent in a civil
action. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1); Mallard v. United States Dist. Court for S. Dist. of Iowa, 490
U.S. 296 (1989). However, such discretion “should be allowed only in exceptional cases.” Cook
v. Bounds, 518 F.2d 779, 780 (4th Cir. 1975). Whether exceptional circumstances are present
depends on the type and complexity of the case, and the pro se litigant’s ability to prosecute it.
Whisenant v. Yuam, 739 F.2d 160 (4th Cir. 1984), abrogated on other grounds by Mallard, 490 U.S.
Upon review of the file, the court has determined that there are no exceptional or unusual
circumstances presented at this time, nor would the plaintiff be denied due process if the court denied
plaintiff’s request for counsel. Id. Based on the pleadings before the court, the plaintiff writes well
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and appears capable of addressing the legal issues. Accordingly, the plaintiff’s motion requesting
counsel under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) is denied.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Paige J. Gossett
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
October 17, 2017
Columbia, South Carolina
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