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Humphrey v. Doe

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


May 21, 2010

WALTER HUMPHREY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
"JOHN DOE OFFICER ONE," "JOHN DOE OFFICER TWO," "JOHN DOE PRISONER TRANSPORT COMPANY," AND DAUPHIN COUNTY, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Yvette Kane, Chief Judge United States District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania

(Chief Judge Kane)

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Pending before the Court is a letter from Plaintiff Walter Humphrey, (Doc. No. 49), requesting that the Court appoint legal counsel to represent him. A district court does have discretionary authority to "request an attorney to represent any person unable to afford counsel."

28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). "If the district court determines that the plaintiff's claim has arguable merit in fact and law, the court should then consider a numberof additional factors that bear on the need for appointed counsel." Tabron v. Grace, 6 F.3d 147, 155 (3d Cir.1993). Such factors include: 1) the plaintiff's ability to present his own case; 2) the difficulty of the particular legal issues; 3) the degree to which factual investigation will be necessary and the ability of the plaintiff to pursue investigation; 4) the plaintiff's capacity to retain counsel on his own behalf; 5) the extent to which a case is likely to turn on credibility determinations; and 6) whether the case will require testimony from expert witnesses. Montgomery v. Pinchak, 294 F.3d 492, 499 (3d Cir. 2002) (citing Tabron, 6 F.3d at 155-57). This list of factors is not exhaustive. Tabron, 6 F.3d at 157.

The Court does not find that the combined factors weigh in favor of granting Plaintiff's request for Court-appointed counsel. The issues presented in this case are not overly complex, and the Court has not yet determined that the case merits the extremely valuable time of a volunteer lawyer. The Court will deny Plaintiff's request, but will further consider the need for counsel as the case progresses.

ACCORDINGLY, this 21st day of May 2010, upon consideration of Plaintiff's letter requesting that the Court appoint legal counsel (Doc. No. 49), IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT the request is DENIED.

20100521

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