United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Owensboro
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. MCKINLEY, JR., CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
matter is before the Court upon several miscellaneous motions
filed by pro se Plaintiff Ronald Tingle. The Court
will address each of these motions in turn.
MOTION TO OBTAIN DOCUMENTS (DN 40)
motion, Plaintiff states that he has not received the
discovery documents Defendant Wilson certified to the Court
that she had produced to Plaintiff in compliance with the
Court's Scheduling Order and Order Regarding Service (DN
34). Plaintiff asks the Court to order Defendant to forward
these documents to him at his new address. In her response,
Defendant Wilson states the documents she mailed to Plaintiff
at his former address were never returned as undeliverable,
but that she will nonetheless forward these same documents to
Plaintiff at his new address. Accordingly, IT IS
HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion to obtain
documents (DN 40) is DENIED as moot.
MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL (DN 42)
motion, Plaintiff requests “the assignment of
counsel” because he is “untrained in the
law.” However, the law does not require the appointment
of counsel for indigent plaintiffs in civil cases. See
Lavado v. Keohane, 992 F.2d 601, 605-06 (6th Cir. 1993).
Indeed, the appointment of counsel in a civil proceeding is
not a constitutional right but a privilege that is justified
only by exceptional circumstances. Id. See also Lanier v.
Bryant, 332 F.3d 999, 1006 (6th Cir. 2003); Childs
v. Pellegrin, 822 F.2d 1382, 1384 (6th Cir. 1987)
(“‘[T]he appointment of counsel in a civil case
is, as is the privilege of proceeding in forma
pauperis, a matter within the discretion of the court.
It is a privilege and not a right.'”) (quoting
United States v. Madden, 352 F.2d 792, 793 (9th Cir.
1965)). “In determining whether ‘exceptional
circumstances' exist, courts have examined ‘the
type of case and the abilities of the plaintiff to represent
himself.' This generally involves a determination of the
‘complexity of the factual and legal issues
involved.'” Lavado v. Keohane, 992 F.2d at
606. (citations omitted).
Court finds that the complexity of the issues in this case
does not necessitate the appointment of counsel at this time.
See Knowles-Browder v. Ca. Forensic Med. Group
Staff, No. CIV S-05-1260, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20973,
at *1 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 10, 2006) (“Most pro se litigants
believe that their cases are complex, and all prisoners find
that their access to law libraries is limited.”).
Furthermore, based on a review of the documents filed by
Plaintiff thus far, the Court finds his filings relatively
clear and straight-forward, which indicates that, at this
point, Plaintiff is capable of representing himself.
Consequently, the Court finds that Plaintiff has not set
forth any “exceptional circumstances” warranting
appointment of counsel at this stage. However, nothing in
this Order shall preclude Plaintiff from requesting
appointment of counsel at a future point in this action
should exceptional circumstances arise to justify such an
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's
motion for the appointment of counsel (DN 42) is
MOTION FOR CONTINUANCE (DN 43); MOTION TO PUT COURT ON NOTICE
OF DEFENDANT'S NON- COMPLIANCE (DN 44); MOTION TO STRIKE
INTERROGATORIES (DN 47)
Plaintiff's first motion (DN 43), he asks the Court for a
60-day continuance to respond to Defendant's
interrogatories. Plaintiff indicates that he cannot respond
to the interrogatories because he does not have them in his
possession. In Plaintiff's second motion (DN 44),
Plaintiff reiterates that Defendant Wilson has not provided
him with the interrogatories in question. In Plaintiff's
third motion (DN 47), he asks the Court to “strike the
interrogatories” sent by Defendant Wilson which
reference an automobile accident because they are unrelated
to the issues in this case.
Court first notes that Plaintiff's motion to
“strike the interrogatories” indicates that he
has in fact received Defendant Wilson's interrogatories.
Moreover, in Defendant Wilson's response to
Plaintiff's motion to strike, she states that she never
moved to compel Plaintiff to answer the interrogatories, and
that such answers are moot unless her motion to dismiss/
alternate motion for summary judgment are denied.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's
motion for a continuance (DN 43); motion to put the Court on
notice of Defendant's non-compliance (DN 44); and motion
to strike interrogatories (DN 47) are DENIED as
moot. Plaintiff is not required to answer
Defendant's interrogatories unless ordered to do so
following the Court's ruling on Defendant's motion to
dismiss/alternate motion for summary judgment.
MOTION TO REQUEST ARBITRATION (DN 46)
has also filed a motion requesting “arbitration by
Court to preserve time, monies, and resources of all the
parties.” He states that he seeks an arbitrator to
settle the claims he has brought pursuant to “1) §
1331- A Bivens Action, thus liable on both individual and
official capacity levels; 2) § 1332 - A Diversity
Action, thus a Federal Jurisdictional mandatory minimum of
$75, 000 per party/claim; [and] 3) Punitive Damages Sought .
. .” However, the statutes cited by Plaintiff do not
provide a statutory basis for compelling arbitration in this
case. Plaintiff has also failed to identify any contractual
basis for arbitration. Thus, IT IS HEREBYORDERED that Plaintiffs motion to request
arbitration (DN 46) is DENIED. Moreover, ...