United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
July 16, 2014
MICHAEL McGOWAN, Plaintiff,
R. SHEARING and ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Defendants.
DONALD G. WILKERSON, Magistrate Judge.
Now pending before the Court are the Motions for Reconsideration filed by Plaintiff, Michael McGowan, on April 11, 2014, April 15, 2014, and June 3, 2014 (Docs. 32, 34, 43) and the Motion for Extension of Time filed by Plaintiff on June 3, 2014 (Doc. 42).
Plaintiff's Motions for Reconsideration center on this Court's Orders directing payment of the initial filing fee and denying recruitment of counsel. Plaintiff also seeks an extension of time to respond to discovery propounded by Defendant.
As to the initial filing fee, on January 28, 2014, Plaintiff was granted in forma pauperis status and was directed to pay an initial filing fee of $65.43 (Doc. 5). Plaintiff did not pay the initial filing fee as of the date of the Scheduling Order, on April 3, 2014. In that Scheduling Order, Plaintiff was directed to pay his initial filing fee by April 30, 3014. To date, only $2.00 has been paid towards the initial filing fee. Plaintiff now seeks additional time within which to pay the amount owed. Plaintiff is GRANTED until August 15, 2014 to pay the remainder of the initial filing fee. Failure to pay the initial filing fee by the deadline may result in dismissal of this action.
Plaintiff also seeks reconsideration of the denial of recruitment of counsel. To support reconsideration, Plaintiff states that he received assistance from a "jailhouse lawyer" in filing his complaint and that he does not believe that he can successfully litigate this matter. As noted in this Court's previous Order, Plaintiff represents that he has some high school education and he appears fully capable of articulating his position and requests to the Court. That he may have received assistance from an inmate in filing his complaint does not warrant the recruitment of counsel in this matter. In subsequent motions and pleadings before the Court (which do not appear to be written by anyone other than Plaintiff) Plaintiff appears to understand these proceedings and request appropriate relief. This matter is also not overly complicated and it is unlikely that extensive or expert discovery will be required in light of the allegations and the limited time-period under question.
Finally, Plaintiff requests additional time to respond to discovery requests (a first set of interrogatories) served by Defendants. Plaintiff is GRANTED until July 31, 2014 to respond to the discovery requests.
For the foregoing reasons, the Motion for Reconsideration as to the Initial Filing Fee (Doc. 32) is GRANTED IN PART, the Motions for Reconsideration as to the Recruitment of Counsel (Docs. 34 and 43) are DENIED, and the Motion for Extension of Time (Doc. 42) is GRANTED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.