United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
D. CRABTREE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
March 10, 2017, plaintiff, acting pro se,  filed a Motion to
Appoint Counsel. Doc. 45. On April 7, 2017, Judge David J.
Waxse denied plaintiff's motion without prejudice. Doc.
46. Plaintiff filed a new Motion to Appoint Counsel on May
15, 2017. Doc. 50. For the reasons explained below, the court
again denies plaintiff's motion without prejudice.
28, Section 1915(e)(1) of the United States Code authorizes
the court to “request an attorney to represent any
person unable to afford counsel.” If the court
determines the movant has a colorable claim, it should
consider-in addition to the movant's financial
need-“the nature of the factual issues raised in the
claim and the ability of the plaintiff to investigate the
crucial facts.” Rucks v. Boergermann, 57 F.3d
978, 979 (10th Cir. 1995) (quoting McCarthy v.
Weinberg, 753 F.2d 836, 838 (10th Cir. 1985)). The Tenth
Circuit has adopted several factors for determining whether
appointment of counsel is appropriate, including: “the
merits of the litigant's claims, the nature of the
factual issues raised in the claims, the litigant's
ability to present his claims, and the complexity of the
legal issues raised by the claims.” Id.
(quoting Williams v. Meese, 926 F.2d 994, 996 (10th
Cir. 1991)). The movant bears the burden of convincing the
court that his claims are sufficiently meritorious to warrant
appointed counsel. Hill v. SmithKline Beecham Corp.,
393 F.3d 1111, 1115 (10th Cir. 2004). Whether to appoint
counsel is a decision assigned to the trial court's sound
discretion. Meese, 926 F.2d at 996.
Motion, plaintiff stresses that his allegations are true, but
he provides no basis for the court to find that his claims
are sufficiently meritorious to warrant appointing counsel at
this time. Plaintiff's claims also do not present such
complex legal issues that they warrant appointing counsel.
Cf. McCarthy v. Weinberg, 753 F.2d 836, 839-40 (10th
Cir. 1985) (holding that the district court should have
granted the plaintiff's motion to appoint counsel because
the “medical issues involved [were] complex, requiring
the presentation of expert opinion . . . [and] development by
a legal professional trained in the arts of advocacy and
legal reasoning”). And, other than plaintiff's lack
of familiarity with the legal process, he provides no reason
why he is incapable of presenting his claims. Plaintiff thus
has not met his burden and so the court denies his Motion to
is free to file a new motion to appoint counsel but, like
Judge Waxse explained in his April 7, 2017 Order, such a
renewed motion is best filed if plaintiff's case survives
summary dismissal. See Doc. 46 at 3 (denying
plaintiff's previous motion to appoint counsel and
explaining that the court would “revisit [his] request
for appointment of counsel if his case survives summary
dismissal after [d]efendants have had an opportunity to
respond to [p]laintiff's claims as set forth in Order at
Docs. 10 and 12”).
the court also briefly responds to plaintiff's plea for
guidance. In his motion, plaintiff asks the court (1) whether
he is supposed to respond to letters from defendants, (2) for
the discovery in the case, and (3) to investigate his
allegations. Doc. 50 at 1-2. Although the court recognizes
that navigating the legal system may be challenging at first
for a layperson, it cannot answer plaintiff's questions
or investigate his allegations. See Hall, 935 F.2d
at 1110 (“[I]t is [not] the proper function of the
district court to assume the role of advocate for the pro se
litigant.”). However, the court directs plaintiff to
the District of Kansas Local Rules and the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. These rules govern the legal process in our
court. The court also may not send plaintiff the discovery he
seeks. Again, the court refers plaintiff to the District of
Kansas Local Rules and the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure for a better understanding of the
THEREFORE ORDERED THAT plaintiff Bryan Howard's Motion to
Appoint Counsel (Doc. 50) is denied without prejudice.
 Because plaintiff proceeds pro se, the
court construes his pleadings liberally and holds them to a
less stringent standard than those drafted by lawyers.
Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir.
1991). But the court does not assume the role of advocate for
plaintiff. Id. Nor does plaintiff's pro se
status excuse him from complying with the court's rules
or facing the consequences of noncompliance. Nielsen v.
Price, 17 F.3d 1276, 1277 (10th Cir. 1994).
http://www.ksd.uscourts.gov/local-rules/ (follow instructions
on webpage to view a pdf of the rules).
(click on blue text to ...