United States District Court, S.D. New York
June 7, 2005.
WESLEY WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
CAPTAIN ROJA, ASSISTANT DEPUTY WARDEN DIAZ, CORRECTION OFFICER MARCEL 1564, C.O. JACOBS 13044, C.O. JORDAN, C.O. HARRIS, C.O. COOPER, and THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHARD BERMAN, District Judge
DECISION & ORDER
On or about December 29, 2004, Wesley Williams ("Plaintiff" or
"Williams"), proceeding pro se, filed an application for the
appointment of counsel in this case. United States Chief
Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck denied this application without
prejudice by order, dated January 10, 2005 ("Order"). By letter,
dated March 24, 2005, Plaintiff renewed his application for the
appointment of counsel ("Application"), contending that he needs
help with "the legal x's and o's" of trying his case.
(Application at 1).
For the reasons set forth below, the Application is denied.
II. Standard of Review
"Unlike criminal defendants . . . indigents filing civil
actions have no Constitutional right to counsel." Santiago v.
Duarte, No. 98 Civ. 6271, 1999 WL 118109, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Mar.
5, 1999). "The court may request an attorney to represent any
person unable to afford counsel." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1).
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has
advised that courts should not grant appointment of counsel indiscriminately, noting that
"volunteer lawyer time is a precious commodity." Cooper v. A.
Sargenti Co., 877 F.2d 170, 172 (2d Cir. 1989); see also
Hendricks v. Coughlin, 114 F.3d 390, 393 (2d Cir. 1997). At the
outset, a district court, "should first determine whether the
indigent's position seems likely to be of substance." Hodge v.
Police Officers, 802 F.2d 58, 61 (2d Cir. 1986).
The Court has reviewed the record herein, including, among
other things, Plaintiff's Request for Production of Documents,
received February 8, 2005, and Exhibits and Witnesses for Trial,
dated March 21, 2005, and concludes that, since the issuance of
Magistrate Peck's Order, Plaintiff's submissions have not
demonstrated that Plaintiff's case seems "likely to be of
substance." See Hodge, 802 F.2d at 61.*fn1
IV. Conclusion & Order
For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff's Application is denied.
Plaintiff may wish to pursue other sources for obtaining
counsel, such as the Association of the Bar of the City of New
York, Legal Referral Service, at (212) 626-7373. Plaintiff may
also avail himself of the services of the Court's pro se
office at 500 Pearl Street, New York City 10007.