Franklin v. Casagrande et al
ORDER ON PENDING MOTIONS (ECF Nos. 2, 3, 4, 19 & 20). Signed by Judge James D. Todd on 9/21/17. (mbm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
CLETUS JOHN ROBERT FRANKLIN,
CYNTHIA CASAGRANDE, ET AL.,
ORDER ON PENDING MOTIONS (ECF Nos. 2, 3, 4, 19 & 20)
The pro se prisoner Plaintiff, Cletus John Robert Franklin, filed a complaint pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 along with a motion to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 2), a motion for
appointment of counsel (ECF No. 3), and a motion for preliminary injunction (ECF No. 4). On
March 15, 2017, the Court granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis and assessed the civil filing
fee pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b).1 (ECF No. 18.)
On April 11, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion (ECF No. 19) to withdraw his motion for
preliminary injunction because he has been transferred to a different prison. The motion to
withdraw Plaintiff’s request for injunctive relief is GRANTED; therefore, the motion for preliminary
injunction (ECF No. 4) is DENIED as moot.
Also on April 11, 2017, Plaintiff filed a second motion for appointment of counsel. (ECF
Nos. 20.) Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1), “[t]he court may request an attorney to represent any
person unable to afford counsel.” However, “[t]he appointment of counsel in a civil proceeding is
Because pauper status has been granted, the Clerk is DIRECTED to terminate the
motion at Docket Entry #2.
not a constitutional right.” Lanier v. Bryant, 332 F.3d 999, 1006 (6th Cir. 2003); see also Shepherd
v. Wellman, 313 F.3d 963, 970 (6th Cir. 2002) (“[T]he plaintiffs were not entitled to have counsel
appointed because this is a civil lawsuit.”); Lavado v. Keohane, 992 F.2d 601, 605-06 (6th Cir.
1993) (no constitutional right to counsel in a civil case); Farmer v. Haas, 990 F.2d 319, 323 (7th
Cir. 1993) (“There is no constitutional or . . . statutory right to counsel in federal civil cases . . . .”).
Appointment of counsel is “a privilege that is justified only by exceptional circumstances.” Lavado,
992 F.2d at 606 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). “In determining whether
‘exceptional circumstances’ exist, courts have examined the type of case and the abilities of the
plaintiff to represent himself. This generally involves a determination of the complexity of the
factual and legal issues involved.” Id. at 606 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).
This case is currently undergoing screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and
1915A. At this stage of the litigation, Plaintiff has not sufficiently demonstrated that the Court
should exercise its discretion to appoint counsel. Therefore, the motions for appointment of counsel
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/ James D. Todd
JAMES D. TODD
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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