Plaintiff seeks the appointment of counsel to represent him in this civil action asserting various claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Fifth Am. Compl. [Doc. No. 54]. Plaintiff alleges he was targeted for an unlawful arrest by the Vineland Police Department and the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office because of his Moorish identity.
Judge Joel Schneider
Highlights of Judge Joel Schneider’s decisions are as follows:
Plaintiff filed the instant motion for the appointment of pro bono counsel on July 1, 2015. [Doc. No. 76].
In the present motion, plaintiff has satisfied his threshold burden of showing his claims have sufficient merit to withstand immediate dismissal.
The fifth amended complaint was reviewed by Chief Judge Simandle, who permitted plaintiff to proceed on claims of unlawful search and seizure, excessive force, false arrest, and malicious prosecution.
Further, the considerations relevant to Tabron’s first factor weigh against appointment here.
First, plaintiff is literate. Second, plaintiff is a high school graduate who has undertaken some college coursework. Third, his successful appeal to the Third Circuit demonstrates his facility for litigation.
Additionally, plaintiff’s instant motion for the appointment of pro bono counsel is reasonably organized and demonstrates an understanding of the relevant standards to be applied by the Court.
Furthermore, plaintiff’s claims largely revolve around allegedly insufficient warrant applications that plaintiff has acknowledged he already possesses. See Id. (“The plaintiff has provide[d] the court with Warrants. . .which were not issued under the law”).
The Court does not foresee plaintiff incurring undue difficulty in the acquisition of additional testimony or related documents.
At this time the Court is not convinced that the case will be “solely a swearing contest” because documentary evidence, in addition to testimony, will inform the resolution of plaintiff’s claims.
The most significant factors to the Court are that plaintiff appears to be able to competently represent himself, plaintiff has demonstrated his ability to present his claims, and the case does not present unduly complex legal or factual issues.
Accordingly, for the foregoing reasons, IT IS hereby ORDERED this 14th day of September, 2015, that plaintiff’s “Motion to Appoint Pro Bono Counsel” [Doc. No. 76] is DENIED.
This Order is entered without prejudice to plaintiff’s right to re-file his request for counsel if warranted by relevant developments.
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