Stewart, Winford v. Dane Co. Jail Deputies et al
ORDER on ifp request: Initial partial filing fee of $ 32.23 assessed. (Initial partial filing fee due 3/26/2014.) Plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel (Dkt. #5) is DENIED without prejudice to reconsideration. Signed by Magistrate Judge Peter A. Oppeneer on 2/28/2014. (jef),(ps)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
WINFORD MOSES STEWART,
Case No. 14-cv-97-wmc
DANE CO. JAIL DEPUTIES AND DR. KIM,
In response to this court’s February 14, 2014 order, plaintiff Winford Moses Stewart
has submitted an account activity ledger for the period preceding his complaint. Accordingly,
the court must determine whether he qualifies for indigent status and, if he does, calculate an
initial partial payment of the $350.00 fee for filing this case.
In determining whether a prisoner litigant qualifies for indigent status this court
applies the formula set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
According to this formula, a
prisoner litigant must prepay 20% of the greater of the average monthly balance or the
average monthly deposits made to his prison account in the six-month period immediately
preceding the filing of the complaint.
In this case, 20% of plaintiff’s average monthly deposits is $32.23. For this case to
proceed, plaintiff must submit this amount on or before March 26, 2014. Plaintiff should
show a copy of this order to jail officials to ensure that they are aware they should send
plaintiff’s initial partial payment to this court.
In addition, the court notes that plaintiff has filed a request for the court to appoint a
lawyer to assist him with this case. (Dkt. #5). It is well established that civil litigants have
no constitutional or statutory right to the appointment of counsel. See, e.g., Luttrell v. Nickel,
129 F.3d 933, 936 (7th Cir. 1997); Ray v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., 706 F.3d 864, 866-67
(7th Cir. 2013). The most a court can do is determine whether to recruit counsel pro bono to
assist an eligible plaintiff who proceeds under the federal in forma pauperis statute. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) (“The court may request an attorney to represent any person unable to
afford counsel.”); Pruitt v. Mote, 503 F.3d 647, 653-54 (7th Cir. 2007) (en banc) (noting
that, at most, the federal IFP statute confers discretion “to recruit a lawyer to represent an
indigent civil litigant pro bono publico”). In other words, a reviewing court only has discretion
to recruit a volunteer. Ray, 706 F.3d at 867. Until the court has screened the complaint as
required by the PLRA, 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, any motion requesting the assistance of volunteer
counsel must be denied as premature. The court will reconsider plaintiff’s request after it has
completed the screening process.
IT IS ORDERED that,
Plaintiff Winford Moses Stewart is assessed $32.23 as an initial partial
payment of the $350.00 fee for filing this case. He is to submit a check or money order
made payable to the clerk of court in the amount of $32.23 on or before March 26, 2014. If,
by March 26, 2014, plaintiff fails to make the initial partial payment or show cause for his
failure to do so, he will be held to have withdrawn this action voluntarily and the case will be
closed without prejudice to plaintiff's filing his case at a later date.
Plaintiff’s motion for appointment of counsel (Dkt. #5) is DENIED without
prejudice to reconsideration.
No further action will be taken in this case until the clerk’s office receives
plaintiff’s initial partial filing fee as directed above and the court has screened the complaint
as required by the PLRA, 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Once the screening process is complete, a
separate order will issue.
Entered this 28th day of February, 2014.
BY THE COURT:
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