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Jackson v. Palmetto Richland Hospital

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

August 3, 2018

Robert Jackson, Plaintiff,
v.
Palmetto Richland Hospital; Firus Mussa; Hailley Oxner; Andy Sides, Defendants.

          ORDER

          PAIGE J. GOSSETT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This is a civil action filed by a state prisoner. Therefore, in the event that a limitations issue arises, Plaintiff shall have the benefit of the holding in Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266 (1988) (prisoner's pleading was filed at the moment of delivery to prison authorities for forwarding to District Court). Under Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2) (D.S.C.), pretrial proceedings in this action have been referred to the assigned United States Magistrate Judge.

         PAYMENT OF THE FILING FEE:

         A prisoner is permitted to file a civil action without prepayment of fees or security therefor under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Plaintiff has submitted an Application to Proceed Without Prepayment of Fees and Affidavit (Form AO 240) to this court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1), which is construed as a Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis. A review of the Motion reveals that Plaintiff does not have the funds to prepay the filing fee. Thus, Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis is granted. (ECF No. 3.)

         However, by filing this case, Plaintiff has incurred a debt to the United States of America in the amount of $350. See 28 U.S.C. § 1914. This debt is not dischargeable in the event Plaintiff seeks relief under the bankruptcy provisions of the United States Code. See 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(17). The Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (1996), permits a prisoner to file a civil action without prepayment of fees or security, but requires the prisoner “to pay the full amount of the filing fee” as funds are available. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), (b). As the court grants Plaintiff permission to proceed in forma pauperis, the agency having custody of Plaintiff shall collect payments from Plaintiff's prisoner trust account in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) and (2), until the full $350 filing fee is paid.

         REQUEST FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL:

         Plaintiff requests the appointment of counsel in this case. (ECF No. 4.) The court may use its discretion to request counsel to represent an indigent in a civil action. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1); Mallard v. United States Dist. Court for S. Dist. of Iowa, 490 U.S. 296 (1989). However, such discretion “should be allowed only in exceptional cases.” Cook v. Bounds, 518 F.2d 779, 780 (4th Cir. 1975). Whether exceptional circumstances are present depends on the type and complexity of the case, and the pro se litigant's ability to prosecute it. Whisenant v. Yuam, 739 F.2d 160 (4th Cir. 1984), abrogated on other grounds by Mallard, 490 U.S. 296.

         Plaintiff asserts that he requires the appointment of counsel in this matter because of his age, legal blindness, physical disability, indigency, and lack of legal knowledge. However, the court finds Plaintiff's circumstances are not exceptional or unusual compared to other incarcerated pro se plaintiffs, nor would the plaintiff be denied due process if the court denied plaintiff's request for counsel. Id. The court notes that despite the obstacles identified by Plaintiff, he successfully and competently filed this action and complied with the court's procedures without any indication of disability. Accordingly, the plaintiff's motion requesting counsel under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) is denied.

         TO THE CLERK OF COURT:

         The Clerk of Court shall not enter any change of address submitted by Plaintiff which directs that mail be sent to a person other than Plaintiff unless that person is an attorney admitted to practice before this court who has entered a formal appearance.

         TO PLAINTIFF:

         Plaintiff must place the civil action number listed above (C/A No. 3:18-2088-TLW-PJG) on any document provided to the court pursuant to this order. Any future filings in this case must be sent to (901 Richland Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29201) the address below. All documents requiring Plaintiff's signature shall be signed with Plaintiff's full legal name written in Plaintiff's 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 thisorder. 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 ...

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