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Cherry v. Monroe

July 23, 2010

CRYSTAL CHERRY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JANET MONROE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Susan D. Wigenton United States District Judge

ORDER

This matter comes before the Court pursuant to Plaintiff's Applications for leave to proceed in forma pauperis and for appointment of Pro Bono Counsel pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1).

Based upon Plaintiff's affidavit of indigency, this Court will grant her leave to proceed in forma pauperis.

Indigent persons raising civil rights claims have no absolute constitutional right to counsel. Parham v. Johnson, 126 F.3d 454, 456-57 (3d Cir. 1997). In determining whether to appoint counsel, a court should consider several factors:

As a preliminary matter, the plaintiff's claim must have some merit in fact and law. ... If the district court determines that the plaintiff's claim has some merit, then the district court should consider the following factors:

(1) the plaintiff's ability to present his or her own case;

(2) the complexity of the legal issues;

(3) the degree to which factual investigation will be necessary and the ability of the plaintiff to pursue such investigation;

(4) the amount a case is likely to turn on credibility determinations;

(5) whether the case will require the testimony of expert witnesses;

(6) whether the plaintiff can attain and afford counsel on his own behalf.

[Tabron v. Grace, 6 F.3d 147, 155-56, 157 n.5 (3d Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1196 (1994).] This list of factors is not exhaustive, but instead should serve as a guide post for the district courts.

Correspondingly, courts should exercise care in appointing counsel because volunteer lawyer time is a precious commodity and should not be ...


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