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Holmes v. Bledsoe

June 17, 2010

ADRIAN S. HOLMES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WARDEN BLEDSOE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: (Judge McClure)

MEMORANDUM and ORDER

Plaintiff Adrian S. Holmes ("Plaintiff" or "Holmes"), an inmate presently confined at the United States Penitentiary at Lewisburg ("USP Lewisburg") in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, commenced the above action pro se by filing a Complaint under the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1331. (Rec. Doc. No. 1.) Named as Defendants are Warden Bledsoe, Captain B. Trate; Special Investigative Agent ("SIA") Perrian; Assistant Warden Young; the Regional Director of the Northeast Regional Office of the Federal Bureau of Prisons ("BOP"); and General Counsel at the BOP Central Office. (See id. at 1, 2 § III.)

In his Complaint, Holmes alleges that Defendants Bledsoe, Trate, Perrian, and Young set him up to be viciously attacked by "The Force Team" at USP Lewisburg on March 1, 2010 and then denied him medical treatment for the injuries he sustained as a result of that attack. (See id. § IV.) Holmes claims that Defendants have not responded to the administrative remedies he has filed regarding his claims. (See id. § II ¶ B.) Service of the Complaint was directed by Order dated May 24, 2010. (Rec. Doc. No. 6.)

Presently before the Court are two motions filed by Plaintiff in which he requests the appointment of counsel and requests the Court to order the production of discovery from Defendants. These motions are disposed of below.

I. MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL

The Court recognizes that there is neither a constitutional nor a statutory right to counsel for civil litigants. Parham v. Johnson, 126 F.3d 454, 456-57 (3d Cir. 1997); Tabron v. Grace, 6 F.3d 147, 153 (3d Cir. 1993). Notwithstanding this lack of a constitutional or statutory right to appointed counsel, in a civil case, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) provides that "[t]he court may request an attorney to represent any person unable to employ counsel." A district court's appointment of counsel pursuant to this statute is discretionary and must be made on a case-by-case basis. Tabron, 6 F.3d at 157-58.

In Tabron, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit first outlined with specificity the applicable standards to be considered by courts upon an application to appoint counsel pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). Id. at 155-57. In Parham, the Third Circuit identified the following guidelines for appointing counsel to indigent civil litigants:

As a preliminary matter, the plaintiff's claim must have some merit in fact and law. If the district court determines that the plaintiff's claim has some merit, then the district court should consider the following factors:

(1) the plaintiff's ability to present his or her own case;

(2) the complexity of the legal issues;

(3) the degree to which factual investigation will be necessary and the ability of the plaintiff to pursue such an investigation;

(4) the amount a case is likely to turn on credibility determinations;

(5) whether the case will require the testimony of expert witnesses;

(6) whether the plaintiff can attain and afford counsel on ...


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