United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Jasper Division
LOVELACE BLACKBURN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case is currently before the court on plaintiff Robin
Harris's Application Under 706(f) of Civil Rights Act of
1964, asking the court to appoint her an attorney and to
grant her the authority to commence this case without
prepayment of fees, costs, or security. (See doc.
For the reasons set forth herein, the court finds that
Harris's Application is due to be granted in part and
denied in part and that her claims are due to be dismissed.
Motion to Appoint an Attorney
of counsel in a civil case is not a constitutional right. It
is a privilege that is justified only by exceptional
circumstances, such as where the facts and legal issues are
so novel or complex as to require the assistance of a trained
practitioner.” Fowler v. Jones, 899 F.2d 1088,
1096 (11th Cir. 1990). Further, the United States Supreme
Court has held that an attorney may not be compelled to
accept appointment in a civil action. See Mallard v.
United States District Court for the Southern District of
Iowa, 490 U.S. 296 (1989).
on Harris's Application, the court will deny her request
for appointment of counsel on the ground that the legal and
factual issues do not appear to be so novel or complex as to
require the assistance of trained counsel.
Motion to Proceed Without Prepayment of Fees, Costs, and
also asks the court to allow her to commence an action
without prepayment of the fees, costs, or security because of
her inability to pay such fees, costs, and/or security.
other words, she asks the court for permission to proceed
in forma pauperis [hereinafter
“IFP”]. This court “has wide discretion in
denying an application to proceed IFP under 28 U.S.C. §
1915. This is especially true . . . in civil cases for
damages, wherein the courts should grant the privilege
sparingly.” Martinez v. Kristi Kleaners, Inc.,
364 F.3d 1305, 1306 (11th Cir. 2004)(citing Flowers v.
Turbine Support Div., 507 F.2d 1242, 1244 (5th
Cir.1975)). However the court may not arbitrarily deny an
application to proceed IFP or deny the application on
erroneous legal grounds. Id. at 1306-07.
When considering a motion filed pursuant to § 1915(a),
the only determination to be made by the court is whether the
statements in the affidavit satisfy the requirement of
poverty. An affidavit addressing the statutory language
should be accepted by the court, absent a serious
misrepresentation, and need not show that the litigant is
absolutely destitute to qualify for indigent status under
§ 1915. Such an affidavit will be held sufficient if it
represents that the litigant, because of his poverty, is
unable to pay for the court fees and costs, and to support
and provide necessities for himself and his dependents. In
other words, the statute is not to be construed such that
potential litigants are forced to become public charges or
abandon their claims because of the filing fee requirements.
Id. at 1307 (quoting Adkins v. E.I. DuPont de
Nemours & Co., 335 U.S. 331, 338-40 (1948);
Watson v. Ault, 525 F.2d 886, 891 (11th
Cir.1976))(internal quotations, citations, and footnotes
to her Application, Harris is unemployed. (Doc. 1 at 1.) Her
outstanding debts and obligations outweigh the value of her
assets. (See id. at 2-3.) The court finds that
Harris has demonstrated her economic eligibility for IFP
her Application to proceed IFP will be granted.
the IFP affidavit is sufficient on its face to demonstrate
economic eligibility, the court should first docket the case
and then proceed to the question of whether the asserted
claim is frivolous.” Martinez, 364 F.3d at
1307. The statute authorizing this court to allow a plaintiff
to proceed ...