United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs Motions for
Appointment of Counsel (ECF Nos. 4). Upon review of the
record, the Court will deny Plaintiffs motion.
18, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Prisoner Civil Rights Complaint
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff was incarcerated at
the Southeast Correctional Center ("SECC") when he
filed this action; however, he has since been released.
Plaintiff alleges that he has Hepatitis C and that, while
incarcerated at the SECC, Dr. Michael Hakala and Dr.
Cleveland Rayford refused to give him treatment even though
is ammonia levels were elevated. He further claims that
Defendant Becky Lizenbee, a nurse, did not always document
his complaints and interfered with his treatment. Finally, he
alleges that Corizon, LLC, had a policy of refusing treatment
to Hepatitis C patients because treatment is expensive.
Plaintiff also sought to hold Defendants George Lombardi and
Ian Wallace liable as a result of their supervisory duties.
However, on August 8, 2016, this Court dismissed those
parties. (ECF No. 11)
same date, this Court also granted Plaintiffs Motion to
Proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF No. 10) On October
12, 2016, this Court entered a Case Management Order setting
forth, inter alia, the discovery deadlines in this
cause of action. Currently pending are Plaintiff s Motions
for Appointment of Counsel. (ECF Nos. 18, 25) Plaintiff
claims that because of his poverty, he is unable to pay a
reasonable attorney fee or obtain legal counsel, despite
diligent efforts to do so. (Id.) Additionally,
Defendants have filed a Motion to Dismiss for Failure to
Cooperate in Discovery and Failure to Prosecute. (ECF No. 19)
civil litigants do not have a constitutional or statutory
right to appointed counsel.'" Davis v.
Scott, 94 F.3d 444, 447 (8th Cir. 1996) (quoting
Edgington v. Missouri Dep't of Corr., 52 F.3d
777, 780 (8th Cir. 1995)). When determining whether to
appoint counsel for an indigent plaintiff, the Court should
consider the factual and legal complexity of the case, the
existence of conflicting testimony, and the ability of the
indigent person to investigate the facts and present her
claim. Id. (citing Swope v. Cameron, 73
F.3d 850, 852 (8th Cir. 1996)).
review of Plaintiff s Complaint, the Court finds that
appointment of counsel is not warranted at this time. The
facts of this case are not complex. Plaintiff raises only one
claim: Defendants failed and refused to properly treat his
Hepatitis C virus while incarcerated at the SECC,
demonstrating deliberate indifference to his medical needs.
Further, the undersigned notes that Plaintiff has thus far
clearly articulated and presented his legal claims to the
Court, and he is able to investigate the facts of his case.
While Plaintiff contends that he has disabilities preventing
him from litigating his case, the Court notes that Plaintiff
has been able to file several motions and responses, as well
as another federal Complaint for relief under § 1983 and
the Americans with Disabilities Act
("ADA"). Because the facts and the legal issues of
this case are not complex, the undersigned finds that at this
time Plaintiffs motion should be denied.
addition, the Court notes Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
for Failure to Cooperate in Discovery and Failure to
Prosecute. Defendants argue that Plaintiff has failed to
respond to their request for initial disclosures,
interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and
notice of deposition. Defendants request that the Court
dismiss Plaintiffs Complaint as a sanction for failing to
attend his deposition, failing to respond to discovery
requests, and failing to otherwise prosecute or comply with
the Federal Rules of Procedure and Orders of this Court.
pro se litigant is bound by the litigation rules as is a
lawyer, particularly here with the fulfilling of simple
requirements of discovery." Lindstedt v. City of
Granby, 238 F.3d 933, 937 (8th Cir. 2000); see also
Escobar v. Cross, No. 4:12CV00023-JJV, 2013 WL 709113,
at *1 (E.D. Ark. Feb. 27, 2013) ("Pro se litigants are
required to follow the same rules of procedure, including the
local court rules, that govern other litigants."). As
this Court has denied Plaintiffs request for appointed
counsel, Plaintiff is responsible as a pro se litigant for
following all rules and orders, including the Case Management
Order with regard to discovery. Although Plaintiff has not
done so, the Court will afford Mr. Williams the opportunity
to show cause why this case should not be dismissed for
failure to prosecute or otherwise comply with the rules and
Orders of this Court.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motions for Appointment
of Counsel (ECF Nos. 18, 25) are DENIED without prejudice.
FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall Show Cause, in writing
and no later than April 24, 2017 why this case should not be
dismissed for failure to prosecute and failure to comply with
local and federal rules and the Orders of this Court,
including the Case Management Order related to discovery.
Dated this 10th day of April 2017.