United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division
April 8, 2015
THOMAS BERT WISHART, Plaintiff,
CSI SUPPORT & DEVELOPMENT SERVICES & SUBSIDIARIES, et al. Defendants.
ELIZABETH A. STAFFORD MAGISTRATE JUDGE
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL  WITHOUT PREJUDICE
ELIZABETH A. STAFFORD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Plaintiff Thomas Wishart, moves for appointment of counsel. Wishart filed the instant case against Defendants alleging violations of due process and equal protection, as well as violations of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601, et seq. Wishart now seeks appointment of counsel, arguing that he is indigent and seventy-two years old. .
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1), “[t]he court may request an attorney to represent any person unable to afford counsel.” Appointment of counsel under § 1915(e)(1) is not a constitutional right in a civil action; a district court is vested with broad discretion to determine whether “exceptional circumstances” warrant such an appointment. Lavado v. Keohane, 992 F.2d 601, 604-06 (6th Cir. 1993). In making this determination, the Court considers the nature of the case, the party’s ability to represent himself, the complexity of the legal and factual issues, and whether the claims being presented are frivolous or have a small likelihood of success. Id. Appointment of counsel pursuant to § 1915(e)(1) is rare because “there are no funds appropriated to pay a lawyer or to even reimburse a lawyer’s expense.” Clarke v. Blais, 473 F.Supp.2d 124, 125 (D. Me. 2007).
Having reviewed Wishart’s case filings to this point, and considering the relevant factors, the Court finds that Wishart does not show exceptional circumstances that merit the appointment of counsel at this juncture. Age and indigence alone are insufficient reasons to appoint counsel. Further, the sufficiency of Wishart’s claims has not yet been tested, and there is at least some reason to believe they may not survive a motion to dismiss. For these reasons, Wishart’s motion to appoint counsel  is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. IT IS SO ORDERED.
NOTICE TO PARTIES REGARDING OBJECTIONS
The parties’ attention is drawn to Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a), which provides a period of fourteen (14) days from the date of receipt of a copy of this order within which to file objections for consideration by the district judge under 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1).