United States District Court, District of South Carolina
PAIGE J. GOSSETT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
This is a civil action filed by a pro se litigant. Under Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2) DSC, pretrial proceedings in this action have been referred to the assigned United States Magistrate Judge.
REQUEST FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL:
The Complaint in this case seeks assistance in filing a civil lawsuit against the defendant. (ECF No. 1 at 4.) To the extent Plaintiff is seeking the appointment of counsel, there is no right to appointed counsel in a case filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Cf. Hardwick v. Ault, 517 F.2d 295, 298 (5th Cir. 1975). While the court is granted the power to exercise its discretion to appoint counsel for an indigent in a civil action, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1); Smith v. Blackledge, 451 F.2d 1201 (4th Cir. 1971), such appointment “should be allowed only in exceptional cases.” Cook v. Bounds, 518 F.2d 779, 780 (4th Cir. 1975).
The instant Complaint fails to demonstrate that exceptional circumstances exist in this case to justify the appointment of counsel. The Complaint also fails to show that Plaintiff would be denied due process if an attorney is not appointed. See Whisenant v. Yuam, 739 F.2d 160 (4th Cir. 1984), abrogated on other grounds by Mallard v. U.S. Dist. Court, 490 U.S. 296 (1989). The issues in most civil rights cases are not complex, and whenever such a case brought by an uncounseled litigant goes to trial, the court outlines proper procedure so the uncounseled litigant will not be deprived of a fair opportunity to present his or her case. Accordingly, to the extent Plaintiff seeks discretionary appointment of counsel under 28 U.S.C. §1915 (e)(1), such a request is denied.
PAYMENT OF THE FILING FEE:
Plaintiff submitted an Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (Form AO240), which the court construed as a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915. (ECF No. 3.) A review of the motion reveals that Plaintiff should be relieved of the obligation to prepay the full filing fee. Therefore, Plaintiff’s motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is granted, subject to the court’s right to require a payment if Plaintiff’s financial condition changes, and to tax fees and costs against Plaintiff at the conclusion of this case if the court finds the case to be without merit. See Flint v. Haynes, 651 F.2d 970, 972-74 (4th Cir. 1981).
CLERK OF COURT:
The Clerk of Court is directed not to issue the summons for service of process at this time.
Plaintiff must place the civil action number listed above (0:15-640-HMH-PJG) on any document provided to the court pursuant to this order. Any future filings in this case must be sent to the address below: (901 Richland Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29201). All documents requiring Plaintiffs signature shall be signed with Plaintiffs full legal name written in Plaintiffs own handwriting. Pro se litigants shall not use the “s/typed name” format used in the Electronic Case Filing System. In all future filings with this court, Plaintiff is directed to use letter-sized (8½ inches by 11 inches) paper only, to write or type text on one side of a sheet of paper only and not to write or type on both sides of any sheet of paper. Plaintiff is further instructed not to write to the edge of the paper, but to maintain one inch margins on the top, bottom, and sides of each paper submitted.
Plaintiff is a pro se litigant. Plaintiff s attention is directed to the following important notice:
You are ordered to always keep the Clerk of Court advised in writing (901 Richland Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29201) if your address changes for any reason, so as to assure that orders or other matters that specify deadlines for you to meet will be received by you. If as a result of your failure to comply with this order, you fail to meet a deadline set by this court, your case may be dismissed for violating this order. Therefore, if you have a change of address before this case is ended, you must comply with this order by immediately advising the Clerk of Court in writing of such change of address ...