United States District Court, D. Kansas
P. O'HARA, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
brings this pro se civil-rights action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is an inmate in the Ford
County Jail. He has filed this action alleging that defendant
officers used excessive force and acted in deliberate
indifference to plaintiff's medical needs during an
arrest, causing plaintiff to experience a head
injury. This matter is before the court on
plaintiff's fourth request to appoint counsel (ECF No.
civil actions such as this one, there is no constitutional
right to appointed counsel.The decision whether to appoint
counsel in a civil matter lies in the discretion of the
district court. In deciding whether to appoint counsel,
the court must evaluate “the merits of a prisoner's
claims, the nature and complexity of the factual and legal
issues, and the prisoner's ability to investigate the
facts and present his claims.” “The burden is on the
[prisoner] to convince the court that there is sufficient
merit to his claim to warrant the appointment of
counsel.” It is not enough “that having
counsel appointed would have assisted [the prisoner] in
presenting his strongest possible case, [as] the same could
be said in any case.”
requests counsel to help him with the legal terms and
procedures required for civil litigation. He asserts that he
has limited access to records and other resources due to his
incarceration and that he requires his own counsel to
litigate against defendants. Plaintiff cannot afford to pay
an attorney and has tried unsuccessfully to retain counsel.
Plaintiff asserts that he is nearing his limit on
correspondence to search for counsel on his own.
court has considered the instant motion and concludes that
this is not a case in which appointment of counsel is
justified at this juncture. First, it is still not clear
based on the present record that plaintiff's claims have
merit. Second, the factual and legal issues in the case are
not complex. The court has no doubt that the presiding U.S.
District Judge, Holly L. Teeter, will have little trouble
discerning the applicable law. Third, plaintiff has continued
to demonstrate the ability to investigate his claims and meet
the requirements of the court. Finally, his filings continue
to be cogent and factually detailed. While the court
recognizes plaintiff's diligence in attempting to secure
an attorney (see ECF No. 29), on balance he has not
shown that the court should appoint counsel at this stage.
However, if the case survives the motion to dismiss stage,
plaintiff is given leave to file another motion for
appointment of counsel if it becomes apparent that appointed
counsel is necessary at that time.
is hereby informed that, within 14 days after he is served
with a copy of this order, he may, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
72 and D. Kan. Rule 72.1.4(a), file written objections to
this order by filing a motion for review of this order by the
presiding U.S. district judge. Plaintiff must file any
objections within the 14-day period if he wants to have
appellate review of this order. If plaintiff does not timely
file his objections, no court will allow appellate review.
THEREFORE ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to appoint
counsel is denied without prejudice.
of this order shall be mailed to plaintiff via regular and
 See ECF No. 20.
 Plaintiff previously filed a motion
for appointment of counsel (ECF No. 3), which the court
denied without prejudice (ECF No. 4). Plaintiff subsequently
filed a motion for reconsideration (ECF No. 12), which the
court denied (ECF No. 16). Most recently, plaintiff again
requested the court to reconsider appointing counsel (ECF No.
22), which the court declined (ECF No. 23).
 Carper v. DeLand, 54 F.3d
613, 616 (10th Cir. 1995); Durre v. Dempsey, 869
F.2d 543, 547 (10th Cir. 1989).
Hill v. SmithKline Beecham
Corp., 393 F.3d 1111, 1115 (10th Cir. 2004) (citing
Rucks v. Boergermann, 57 F.3d 978, 979 (10th Cir.
1995)); Williams v. Meese, 926 F.2d ...