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Growalt v. the Stop & Shop Supermarket Co.

November 15, 2011

GROWALT
v.
THE STOP & SHOP SUPERMARKET CO., LLC, ET AL.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael A. Hammer United States Magistrate Judge

Chambers of Martin Luther King Jr, Federal Bldg. Michael A. Hammer & U.S. Courthouse United States Magistrate Judge 50 Walnut Street, Room 3053 Newark, NJ 07102 (973) 776-7858

LETTER OPINION & ORDER

RE:

Dear Litigants:

Presently before the Court is Plaintiff's October 11, 2011, application for pro bono counsel under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's request is denied without prejudice.

Background

On October 11, 2011, Plaintiff filed a Complaint alleging employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and an application to proceed in forma pauperis. (Compl., Oct. 11, 2011, ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendants terminated his employment for disability discrimination. (Id. ¶¶ 9--10.)

On that same day, Plaintiff also filed an application for pro bonocounsel. (Pro Bono Application, Oct. 11, 2011, ECF No. 2.) Plaintiff states that (a) he is being treated for depression, bi-polar tendencies, and pedophilia; (b) he has no legal experience and cannot present a case without counsel; (c) the legal issues are complex as he "is claiming discrimination against disabilities not challenged at this level before"; (d) he has no way of accessing documents held by Defendants; and (e) he "does not want [his] criminal record to play into credibility issues." (Id. at Question 3.) Plaintiff also states that "no one will take on a case for a registered sex offender without large retainers unaffordable to plaintiff." (Id. at Question 4.)

On October 17, 2011, the Court granted Plaintiff informa pauperis status, but determined that Plaintiff's Complaint was frivolous because it raised no federal grounds upon which relief could be granted. (Order, Oct. 17, 2011, ECF No. 3.) The Court directed Plaintiff to filed an Amended Complaint by November 17, 2011, or the Court would dismiss the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i). (Id.)

Discussion

In civil cases, neither the Constitution nor any statute gives civil litigants the right to appointed counsel. Parham v. Johnson, 126 F.3d 454, 456--57 (3d Cir. 1997). District courts, however, have broad discretion to determine whether appointment of counsel is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). Montgomery v. Pinchack, 294 F.3d 492, 498 (3d Cir. 2002) (citing Tabron v. Grace, 6 F.3d 147, 153 (3d Cir. 1993)). Appointment of counsel may be made at any point in the litigation, including sua sponte by the Court. Montgomery, 294 F.3d at 498 (citing Tabron, 6 F.3d at 156).

In the Third Circuit, the Court considers the framework established in Tabron v. Grace. Montgomery, 294 F.3d at 498--99. Under the Tabron framework, the Court must first assess "whether the claimant's case has some arguable merit in fact and law." Montgomery, 294 F.3d at 499 (citing Tabron 6 F.3d at 155.) If the applicant's claim has some merit, the Court considers the following factors:

(1) the plaintiff's ability to present his or ...


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