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Elliott v. Causey

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

January 14, 2014

KEENAN S. ELLIOTT, Plaintiff,
v.
MISSY CAUSEY et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

JOSEPH H. McKINLEY, Jr., District Judge.

Before the Court are several motions filed by Plaintiff Keenan S. Elliott. He has filed two motions for appointment of counsel (DNs 25 and 32) based on his indigency.

In a civil case, appointment of counsel is not a constitutional right. Lavado v. Keohane, 992 F.2d 601, 605 (6th Cir. 1993). Title 28, United States Code, section 1915(e)(1) indicates that court-enlisted assistance of counsel is not mandatory, but merely a matter of discretion. See Martin v. Harvey, 14 F.Appx. 307, 310 (6th Cir. 2001). Furthermore, appointment of counsel is justified only in exceptional circumstances. Lavado, 992 F.2d at 606. The relevant factors that must be looked at in determining if exceptional circumstances exist are the complexity of the issues involved and the ability of Plaintiff to represent himself. Id.

The Court does not find that the complexity of the legal issues in this case necessitates the appointment of counsel. Further, based on the pleadings filed thus far, it appears that Plaintiff is familiar with the workings of the legal system and is able to sufficiently represent himself at this time. Plaintiff has not set forth any exceptional circumstances warranting appointment of counsel at this time.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the motions for appointment of counsel (DNs 25 and 32) are hereby DENIED.

Plaintiff also has filed a motion requesting copies (DN 43) and a motion to receive copies free (DN 45). He states that he is indigent and has no support from the community.

Although the Court, by separate Order, has granted Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. ยง 1915(a), that statute "does not give the litigant a right to have documents copied and returned to him at government expense." In re Richard, 914 F.2d 1526, 1527 (6th Cir. 1990); Douglas v. Green, 327 F.2d 661, 662 (6th Cir. 1964) ("The statutory right to proceed in forma pauperis, Section 1915(a), Title 28 United States Code, does not include the right to obtain copies of court orders without payment therefor.").

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff's requests for free copies (DNs 43 and 45) are DENIED.


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