United States District Court, D. South Carolina
Anthony D. Williams, #14113-112, Plaintiff,
Ms. Loretta Lynch, Attorney General; Mr. Travis Bragg, C.E.O. Warden; Ian Connor, National Inmate Appeal Coordinator; M. Holliday, Chief Dietitian; M. Furman, Associate Warden; P. Kelly, Associate Warden; Mr. Hicks, Institutional Captain; S.K. Brosier, Admini_Remedy Coordinator; Mr. Rich, CMC Coordinator; T. Whitehead, Unit Manager; J. Ackerman, Manager; Mrs. Roberts, Manager; Mrs. Bennett, Secretary; Ms. Prince, Correctional Officer; J. Onuoha; Mr. Padilla, Food Service Administrator; John/Jane Doe, Designation and Sentence Computation Unit Team; Ms. Murberry; United States of America; Mr. Cox; Mr. Parra; Mr. Davis, Unit Manager; and Mr. Rodriguez, Defendants.
V. Hodges, United States Magistrate Judge
D. Williams (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se and
in forma pauperis, brings this action alleging a violation of
his constitutional rights while at
FCI-Bennettsville. This matter comes before the court on the
following motions: (1) Plaintiff's motion for discovery
[ECF No. 117]; (2) Plaintiff's motion to appoint counsel
[ECF No. 118]; (3) Plaintiff's motion to hold the
court's prior order in abeyance [ECF No. 119]; and (4)
Defendants' motion to strike and for sanctions [ECF No.
121]. All pretrial proceedings in this case were referred to
the undersigned pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b) and Local Civ. Rule 73.02(B)(2)(e) (D.S.C.).
Motion for discovery [ECF No. 117]
motion for discovery, Plaintiff indicates that he did not
receive the court's June 23, 2017 scheduling order until
August 2017. Plaintiff's motion for discovery is
denied as untimely, as it was filed over two months after the
deadline expired and over a month after the conclusion of
mediation in this case.
Motion to Appoint Counsel
appears that Plaintiff's prior motion to appoint counsel
was intended only as an exhibit to his motion for discovery.
[See ECF No. 117 at ¶ 5]. However, out of an
abundance of caution, the undersigned addresses it
substantively. Plaintiff's motion to appoint counsel is
denied for the reasons his prior motions to appoint counsel
were denied in the court's November 16, 2016 and August
31, 2017 orders [ECF Nos. 24, 98], as set forth below.
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). After a review of the motion, the court has
determined that there are no exceptional or unusual
circumstances presented which would justify the appointment
of counsel, nor would Plaintiff be denied due process if an
attorney were not appointed. 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 the proper procedure so the
uncounseled litigant will not be deprived of a fair
opportunity to present his or her case. Accordingly,
Plaintiff's motion for a discretionary appointment of
counsel under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (e)(1) is denied.
Motion to Hold the Court's Prior Order in Abeyance
Plaintiff requests reconsideration of the court's July
18, 2017 order, in which the court denied three prior motions
by Plaintiff. Plaintiff contends that he did not receive
Defendants' responses to his motions and was not able to
file a reply. However, Plaintiff's failure to receive
Defendants' responses is due to his own failure to keep
Defendants and the court apprised of his address from June
29, 2017, until August 29, 2017. [See ECF No. 98].
Plaintiff was previously warned:
You are ordered to always keep the Clerk of Court advised in
writing (United States District Court, 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 and providing the court
with the docket number of all pending cases you have filed
with this court. Your failure to do so will not be excused by
[ECF Nos. 5, 24, 31]. Therefore, Plaintiff's motion to
hold the court's prior order in abeyance [ECF No. 119] is
Defendants' Motion to Strike and for Sanctions
move to strike a letter from Plaintiff discussing mediation
negotiations. [ECF No. 121]. Defendants argue that it
violates Local Civ. Rule 16.08 (D.S.C.), which states that
mediation communications are confidential and should not be
introduced in any proceeding. The undersigned grants
Defendants' motion and instructs the Clerk of Court to
delete the letter [ECF No. ...