LaBrec, Matthew v. Lavoie, Daniel et al
ORDER Denying 123 Motion for Assistance in Recruiting Counsel and Denying 124 Motion for a court trial. Signed by District Judge James D. Peterson on 11/14/2023. (voc),(ps)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
MATTHEW LA BREC,
JAMES T. MURPHY,
Pro se plaintiff Matthew La Brec contends that defendant James T. Murphy failed to
adequately treat his chronic back pain. La Brec brings claims under the Eighth Amendment
and Wisconsin common law. Trial is set for January 16, 2024. La Brec has filed a motion asking
for the court’s assistance in recruiting him counsel. Dkt. 123.
A pro se party seeking assistance in recruiting counsel must show three things: (1) he is
indigent; (2) he has made reasonable efforts to find counsel on his own; and (3) the case is too
complex for him to litigate on his own. Walker v. Price, 900 F.3d 933, 938 (7th Cir. 2018);
Pruitt v. Mote, 503 F.3d 647, 649 (7th Cir. 2007). La Brec has met the first requirement because
he is proceeding in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. He has met the second requirement
by asking multiple lawyers to represent him.
But I am not persuaded that the issues at trial will be too complex for La Brec to handle.
La Brec argues that that the medical care issues will be “very difficult to present at trial.”
Id. at 1. But that should not be the case. For instance, I have already concluded that La Brec
doesn’t need expert testimony to prove his claims that Murphy violated his rights by persisting
with ineffective pain treatment after the DOC medical director refused to approve pregabalin
La Brec states that he has untreated attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. But he
doesn’t explain how that condition will affect his preparations or trial performance, and his
filings in this and other cases give me no reason to think that his abilities are below those of
the many plaintiffs who have conducted trials in this court pro se. I will deny his motion for
the recruitment of counsel without prejudice.
La Brec has also filed a motion asking for a court trial. Dkt. 124. But defendant Murphy
has already demanded a jury trial so I will deny that motion.
IT IS ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff Matthew La Brec’s motion for the court’s assistance in recruiting him
counsel, Dkt. 123, is DENIED without prejudice.
2. Plaintiff’s motion for a court trial, Dkt. 124, is DENIED.
Entered November 14, 2023.
BY THE COURT:
JAMES D. PETERSON
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