Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Jose M. Bejar v. Department of Veteran Affairs

May 16, 2013

JOSE M. BEJAR, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF VETERAN AFFAIRS, ERIC K. SHINSEKI, SECRETARY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gerald L. Rushfelt United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Before the Court is a Motion for Appointment of Counsel (ECF No. 3) filed by Plaintiff. For the reasons set out below, the Court denies the motion.

I. Relevant Factual Background

Plaintiff pro se commenced this action on May 10, 2013, by filing a civil complaint and paying the filing fee. His complaint alleges retaliation and harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et seq.

II. Motion for Appointment of Counsel

In general, there is no constitutional right to appointment of counsel in a civil case.*fn1 For some types of cases, however, Congress has provided statutory authority to appoint counsel. For actions brought under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1) -- provides discretionary authority for appointing counsel "in such circumstances as the court may deem just."*fn2 This statute provides no statutory right to counsel -- it is merely a "a statutory right to request appointed counsel at court expense."*fn3 The Court has "extremely broad" discretion to appoint counsel under § 2000e-5(f)(1).*fn4 For guidance the Tenth Circuit has identified factors that courts consider when evaluating a motion for appointment of counsel. Appointment of counsel is only appropriate under § 2000e-5(f)(1) after the plaintiff has affirmatively shown "(1) financial inability to pay for counsel; (2) diligence in attempting to secure counsel; and (3) meritorious allegations of discrimination."*fn5 As "an aid in exercising discretion" in close cases, the Court should also consider whether the plaintiff has the "capacity to present the case without counsel."*fn6

When considering appointment of counsel, the Court remains mindful that Congress has provided no mechanism for compensating appointed attorneys.*fn7 "Thoughtful and prudent use of the appointment power is necessary so that willing counsel may be located without the need to make coercive appointments. The indiscriminate appointment of volunteer counsel to undeserving claims will waste precious resource and may discourage attorneys from donating their time."*fn8 Finally, the

Court notes that it has a limited pool of volunteer attorneys from whom it may appoint counsel.

A. Financial Ability to Secure Counsel

Plaintiff has paid the filing fee for this action. He also states in his motion that he is financially able to retain his own counsel. Given this information, this factor clearly does not support appointment of counsel.

B. Efforts to Secure Counsel

To obtain appointment of counsel, a party must make diligent efforts to secure counsel. This typically requires the party to meet with and discuss the case with at least five attorneys.*fn9 Plaintiff states that he has contacted six attorneys. But he does not state the nature of the contact or provide any indication that he personally met with and conferred with the attorneys about his case. Depending on the nature of the contacts these efforts may be sufficient. Merely contacting five or more attorneys, however, does not exhibit sufficient diligence to warrant appointment of counsel.*fn10

Based on the information before the Court, this factor does not support ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.