UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
January 23, 2006
JAMES C. WOODHAM, PLAINTIFF,
DONNA M. DUBAS, DEFENDANT
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Malcolm Muir U.S. District Judge
(Complaint filed 04/21/03)
(Magistrate Judge Smyser)
THE BACKGROUND OF THIS ORDER IS AS FOLLOWS:
This case is currently scheduled to be tried on our February, 2006, trial list. Plaintiff James C. Woodham is proceeding pro se. In this case he has filed and we have denied two motions for the appointment of counsel.
On January 20, 2006, Woodham filed a document entitled "Application of Indigent Plaintiff for Appointment of Stand By [sic] Counsel and Order." In the document Woodham requests the court to appoint standby counsel to represent him. We will address the application as a motion and rule on it without requiring the parties to file any briefs in connection with the motion.
Our research has failed to reveal a single reported federal case in which standby counsel was appointed to represent a party in a civil case.*fn1 Consequently, we question whether we have the authority to do so. Even if we assume that we have the authority to appoint such counsel in a civil case, for the reasons stated in our orders denying Woodham's motions to appoint counsel, the circumstances of this case do not justify the appointment of counsel in any capacity.
NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT: Woodham's motion for appointment of standby counsel (Document 153) is denied.