Rusk v. Fidelity Brokerage Services
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER denying 75 Motion to Appoint Counsel and Motion for Order Requiring Defendant to Maintain Evidence. Signed by Magistrate Judge Evelyn J. Furse on 4/24/2017. (eat)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF UTAH, CENTRAL DIVISION
ZACHARY R. E. RUSK,
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO
APPOINT COUNSEL & MOTION FOR
ORDER REQUIRING DEFENDANT TO
(ECF NO. 75)
FIDELITY BROKERAGE SERVICES,
Case No. 2:15-cv-00853-JNP-EJF
District Judge Jill N. Parrish
Magistrate Judge Evelyn J. Furse
Plaintiff Zachary R. E. Rusk moves the Court 1 to appoint counsel and to order Defendant
Fidelity Brokerage Services (Fidelity) to maintain evidence. (Mot. (2 part) (Mot.), ECF No. 75.)
For the following reasons, the Court denies Mr. Rusk’s motions.
Motion to Appoint Counsel
This Motion constitutes Mr. Rusk’s second motion to appoint counsel. On January 26,
2016, Judge Wells granted in part Mr. Rusk’s first motion to appoint counsel. (ECF No. 19.) In
her Order, Judge Wells agreed to appoint counsel “for the limited purpose of consulting with
Plaintiff and assisting Plaintiff in determining whether he has a cognizable claim.” (ECF No.
19.) However, on May 31, 2016, Judge Warner reconsidered Mr. Rusk’s motion to appoint
Magistrate Judge Paul Warner referred this case to the undersigned Magistrate Judge following
his recusal. (ECF No. 77.)
counsel because, “the court has been unable to find any counsel willing to represent Plaintiff,
even in the limited role envisioned by Judge Wells.” (Mem. Dec. & Order 3, ECF No. 44.)
Judge Warner considered three factors before denying Mr. Rusk’s motion to appoint counsel.
(Id.) First, Mr. Rusk failed to show that his claim has sufficient merit to warrant appointment of
counsel. (Id. at 4.) Second, Mr. Rusk provided no indication that he lacks the capacity or
otherwise cannot pursue his case. (Id.) And third, the issues raised by Mr. Rusk’s Complaint do
not appear complicated or difficult to explain. (Id.) Accordingly, Judge Warner denied Mr.
Rusk’s first motion to appoint counsel.
Mr. Rusk once again asks this Court to appoint counsel. However, this Court finds the
circumstances of Mr. Rusk’s case have not changed since Judge Warner issued his Order
denying Mr. Rusk’s motion to appoint counsel. Therefore, the Court DENIES Mr. Rusk’s
motion to appoint counsel.
Motion to Order Defendant to Maintain Evidence
Mr. Rusk “seeks an order to require the defendant and its constituents, corroborators and
colluders in this case to maintain any and all evidence.” (Mot. 2, ECF No. 75.) “A party’s duty
to preserve evidence arises when the party ‘knew, or should have known, that litigation was
imminent.’” Brigham Young Univ. v. Pfizer, Inc., 282 F.R.D. 566, 571 (D. Utah 2012) (quoting
Turner v. Pub. Serv. Co., 563 F.3d 1136, 1149 (10th Cir. 2009)). A failure to preserve evidence
can result in sanctions. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(e).
Fidelity’s duty to preserve evidence relevant to this matter arose either when it knew or
should have known that litigation was imminent and no later than when the Clerk filed Mr.
Rusk’s Complaint on December 15, 2015. (ECF No. 4.) Mr. Rusk does not provide this Court
with any evidence that Fidelity has violated its duty. Therefore, the Court DENIES Mr. Rusk’s
Motion to order Fidelity to maintain evidence as unnecessary.
DATED this ____ day of April, 2017.
BY THE COURT:
EVELYN J. FURSE
United States Magistrate Judge
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