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SANIAT v. CITY OF CHICAGO

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois


April 15, 2004.

THOMAS SANIAT, pro se, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, et al., Defendants

The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES MORAN, Senior District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

In our Memorandum Opinion and Order dated December 15, 2003, we granted in part and denied in part plaintiff Thomas Saniat's petition to proceed in forma pauperis on his complaint alleging civil rights violations against the City of Chicago, EAR Towing, and numerous City and EAR employees. Plaintiff was allowed to proceed on his § 1985(2) and § 1986 claims against John and Jane Doe defendants. Plaintiff had also filed a motion for appointment of counsels which we did not rule on at that time. He has now renewed his motion for appointment of counsel and has filed for an extension of time to serve process on the John and Jane Doe defendants.

Plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel is denied. Plaintiff declares that he has tried to obtain counsel for this matter at several legal clinics but has been unsuccessful. (It does not appear that he has sought private counsel willing to work for the attorney's fee available to prevailing parties under 42 U.S.C. § 1988.) While plaintiff's inability to obtain counsel at legal aid clinics is not necessarily indicative of the merits of his claims, it is premature to appoint an attorney to take his case. As defendants have not yet had the opportunity to respond to the complaint, we do not know whether this action will require the assistance of an attorney. If, as the record develops, it becomes apparent that fundamental fairness requires the appointment of counsel for plaintiff, the court will reconsider this motion.

 Plaintiff's motion for an extension of time to serve process on defendants is granted. He shall be given until July 11, 2004, As the identity of the defendants is unknown to plaintiff, he may issue subpoenas to the City of Chicago and EAR for any information they might have regarding the identity of the employees who were involved in the alleged incidents giving rise to his claims.

20040415

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