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Jackson v. Renaissance Collaborative

December 15, 2010

JACKSON
v.
RENAISSANCE COLLABORATIVE



Order Form (01/2005)

Name of Assigned Judge Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge Blanche M. Manning than Assigned Judge

CASE TITLE

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT:

For the reasons stated below, Mr. Jackson's renewed motion for appointment of counsel [Docket No. 60] is denied.

# [ For further details see text below.]

STATEMENT

Pro se plaintiff Curtis Jackson has renewed his motion for appointment of counsel before this court. The magistrate judge previously appointed counsel for a settlement conference (which was not successful) but declined to appoint counsel to represent Mr. Jackson generally.

Civil litigants do not have a right, either constitutional or statutory, to counsel. Zarnes v. Rhodes, 64 F.3d 285, 288 (7th Cir. 1995). The court may nevertheless, in the exercise of its discretion, request counsel to represent indigents in appropriate cases. Id. A litigant who seeks appointment of counsel must first, as a threshold matter, make a reasonable attempt to secure private counsel. Id. If a litigant satisfies this burden, the court should consider the following non-exhaustive list of factors:

"(1) the merits of the plaintiff's claims;

(2) whether the plaintiff can investigate crucial facts;

(3) whether trained counsel will better expose the truth;

(4) the plaintiff's ability to present the case; and

(5) the complexity of the relevant legal issues." Id. In essence, this inquiry boils down to the simple question, "given the difficulty of the case, [does] the plaintiff appear to be competent to try it himself and, if not, would the ...


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