United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
RODNEY S. RATHEAL, Plaintiff,
LINDSAY McCARTHY, SEC; TOM HARVEY, THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, Defendants.
A. Kimball Judge
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL (ECF NO.
J. FURSE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff Rodney S. Ratheal's Motion to
Appoint Counsel filed on September 22, 2017. (ECF No. 9.) Mr.
Ratheal has appeared pro se in this case, but has not filed
an application to proceed in forma pauperis.
defendants in criminal actions have a constitutional right to
representation by an attorney, U.S. Const. amend. VI, Fed. R.
Crim. P. 44, there is “no constitutional right to
appointed counsel in a civil case.” Durre v.
Dempsey, 869 F.2d 543, 547 (10th Cir. 1989). Indigent
parties in civil actions who cannot obtain counsel may apply
for the appointment of counsel under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(1), which allows a court to “request” an
attorney to represent an indigent party. A court has
discretion under §1915(e)(1) to appoint counsel or not.
Shabazz v. Askins, 14 F.3d 533, 535 (10th Cir.
1994). The applicant has the burden to convince the court
that his or her claim has enough merit to justify the
court's appointing counsel. McCarthy v.
Weinberg, 753 F.2d 836, 838 (10th Cir. 1985). Moreover,
a plaintiff must provide evidence that he cannot afford
counsel before the Court will appoint counsel on his behalf.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1).
deciding whether to appoint counsel, the Court considers a
variety of factors, 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.” Rucks v. Boergermann, 57 F.3d
978, 979 (10th Cir. 1995) (quotations and citations omitted).
Ratheal asks the Court to appoint counsel, but states no
reason for the request. Furthermore, he fails to provide a
declaration demonstrating an inability to afford counsel.
reasons stated above, the Court DENIES Mr. Ratheal's
Motion to Appoint Counsel without prejudice. Mr. Ratheal may
file a new motion to appoint counsel that includes a
completed copy of the attached Application to Proceed in
District Court Without Preparing Fees or Costs.
TO PROCEED IN DISTRICT COURT WITHOUT PREPAYING FEES OR COSTS
I am a
plaintiff or petitioner in this case and declare that I am
unable to pay the costs of these proceedings and that I am
entitled to the relief requested.
support of this application, I answer the following questions
under penalty of perjury:
If incarcerated. I am being held at: ____________ .
If employed there, or have an account in the institution, I
have attached to this document a statement certified by the
appropriate institutional officer showing all receipts,
expenditures, and balances during the last six months for any
institutional account in my name. I am also submitting a
similar statement from any other institution where I was
incarcerated during the last six months.
If not incarcerated. If I am employed, my employer's
name and address are:
gross pay or wages are: $ ________, and my take-home pay or
wages are: $ ________ per (specify pay period)
Other Income. In the past 12 months, I have received
income from the following ...