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Gatto v. Edward Hospital & Health Services

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois


April 5, 2012

GATTO
v.
EDWARD HOSPITAL & HEALTH SERVICES

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles P. Kocoras U.S. District Judge

Name of Assigned Judge Charles P. Kocoras Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge

CASE TITLE

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT

The Court grants plaintiff's motion (Doc [3]) to proceed in forma pauperis. Plaintiff's motion (Doc [4]) for appointment of counsel is denied. The Clerk of Court is directed to issues summons forthwith.

O[ For further details see text below.] Docketing to mail notices.

ORDER

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Denise Gatto's ("Gatto") motion to proceed in forma pauperis without prepayment of fees, and her motion for appointment of counsel.

A litigant may proceed in forma pauperis if she is unable to pay the costs associated with commencing a lawsuit. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Gatto's in forma pauperis application and financial affidavit state that she is currently unemployed, has not worked since May 2011, and has less than $200 in cash or in bank accounts. Gatto has received $17,100 in unemployment benefits over the past twelve months, but she lists no other assets or income. Based on this information, the Court concludes that Gatto is unable to pay the fees associated with this proceeding, and therefore grants her motion to proceed in forma pauperis.

A district court may grant a motion for appointment of counsel for an indigent plaintiff if: (1) the plaintiff has made a reasonable attempt to obtain counsel, or has been effectively precluded from doing so; and (2) the plaintiff is not competent to litigate the case herself when taking the complexity of the matter into account. Pruitt v. Mote, 503 F.3d 647, 654 (7th Cir. 2007). Gatto fails to meet either of these requirements. First, Gatto has failed 12C1849 Gatto v. Edward Hospital & Health Services to demonstrate that she contacted any attorneys to represent her in this matter. Her indigence does not excuse her failure to reasonably attempt to secure legal representation. Moreover, the factual allegations found in Gatto's claim do not present sufficiently difficult issues that would prevent her, a college graduate, from adequately representing herself. The court therefore denies Gatto's motion for appointment of counsel.

Date: April 5, 2012

20120405

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