United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
February 5, 2015
ULAS AVCI, Plaintiff,
PATRICK R. DONAHOE, Defendant.
NATHANIEL M. GORTON, District Judge.
Before the Court is the plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel. For the reasons stated below, the motion is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
Plaintiff Ulas Avci brings this employment discrimination action against his former employer, United States Postmaster Patrick R. Donahoe. On January 7, 2015, the Court allowed Avci's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis and ordered that a summons issue. There is nothing on the docket indicating that the defendant has been served.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1), the Court "may request an attorney to represent any person unable to afford counsel." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). However, a civil plaintiff lacks a constitutional right to free counsel. See DesRosiers v. Moran, 949 F.2d 15, 23 (1st Cir. 1991) (citations omitted). To qualify for appointment of counsel, a party must be indigent and exceptional circumstances must exist such that the denial of counsel will result in fundamental unfairness impinging on the party's due process rights. See id. To determine whether there are exceptional circumstances sufficient to warrant the appointment of counsel, a court must examine the total situation, focusing on the merits of the case, the complexity of the legal issues, and the litigant's ability to represent himself. See id.
Here, the defendant has not been served with and responded to the complaint. Without reviewing the defendant's response to the complaint, the Court cannot yet determine whether exceptional circumstances exist that would warrant the appointment of counsel.
Accordingly, the motion for appointment of counsel is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE to renewal after the defendant has responded to the complaint.