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Williams v. Walker

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


February 27, 2007

MILTON WILLIAMS, JR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
EUGENE WALKER, GUY PIERCE, M.R. PULLEY, MAGGIE BRIAN, MARTY FANNIN, ROSALINA GONZALES, C/O HATTEN, HEALTH PROFESSIONALS LIMITED, IDOC, AND LAWRENCE CORRECTIONAL CENTER, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Proud, Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Before the Court is plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration of the Denial of his Motion for Appointment of Counsel. (Doc. 54).

Judge Stiehl denied plaintiff's first motion for appointment of counsel because plaintiff had not made a sufficient showing that he had attempted to retain counsel on his own. See, Doc. 7. The undersigned denied his second motion because, after undertaking the analysis endorsed by the Seventh Circuit in Farmer v. Haas, 990 F.2d 319, 322 (7th Cir. 1993) and Greeno v. Daley, 414 F.3d 645, 658 (7th Cir. 2005), this court concluded plaintiff is competent to handle his case by himself.

As grounds for his motion for reconsideration, plaintiff again states that he is "legally blind." The record does not establish how much sight he has, but he can evidently see to some extent. The file contains hand-written letters from plaintiff, so he can apparently read and write.

He stated in his second motion, Doc. 41, that he has a high school education, which is more education that many pro se inmates have.

The Seventh Circuit has aptly noted that judges do not technically "appoint" counsel in civil cases. Rather, judges may recruit private attorneys to represent litigants in certain cases. Pruitt v. Mote, 472 F.3d 484, 485 (7th Cir. 2006). It is well established that there is no per se rule requiring the appointment of counsel. Instead, the judge makes a "a case-by-case assessment of the trial's difficulty and the plaintiff's ability to cope." Id., at 487.

Plaintiff's performance to date demonstrates that he is able to present his positions to the court . At this stage of the proceedings, the court does not perceive a need for counsel.

For the foregoing reasons, plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration of the Denial of his Motion for Appointment of Counsel (Doc. 54) is DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

CLIFFORD J. PROUD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

20070227

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