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Salami v. Clements

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

July 21, 2015

MICHAEL SALAMI, Plaintiff,
v.
DEPUTY CLEMENTS, et al., Defendants.

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS TO APPOINT COUNSEL WITHOUT PREJUDICE [R. 3, 10, 14, 15]

ELIZABETH A. STAFFORD, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Michael Salami, a prisoner proceeding pro se, moves for appointment of counsel. [R. 3, 10, 14, 15]. Salami's original complaint alleged claims against certain Macomb County Jail officials, Correct Care Solutions ("CCS"), the Macomb County Jail and Sheriff Anthony Wickersham. He moved to amend his complaint to dismiss his claims against Wickersham and the Jail, and add defendant Macomb County, and the Court granted the motion. Salami now seeks appointment of counsel, arguing that he is unable to afford counsel, that he has limited access to the law library, and because his mail to legal organizations is being restricted.

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 review Salami's case filings to date, and considering the relevant factors, the Court finds that he has not shown exceptional circumstances that merit the appointment of counsel at this juncture. Poverty and lack of access to counsel alone are not exceptional reasons warranting appointment of counsel. Similarly, despite his alleged limited access to the law library and the mail, he has been able to file four motions for appointment of counsel, a motion to amend and three other requests and/or letters to this Court. Finally, his claims at this juncture do not appear to involve unusually complex legal or factual issues. For these reasons, Salimi's motions to appoint counsel [R. 3, 10, 14, 15] are DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.[1]


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