United States District Court, D. Delaware
JAMES N. MCCARDELL, Plaintiff,
CONNECTIONS COMMUNITY SUPPORT PROGRAMS, INC., Defendant.
Wilmington this w) day of May, 2019, having
considered Plaintiff's motions to compel (D.I. 41, 63,
67) and motion to supplement and/or request for counsel (D.I.
HEREBY ORDERED that: (1) the motions to compel (D.I. 41, 67)
are GRANTED in part and
DENIED in part; (2) Defendant shall produce
the contract between Defendant and the Delaware Department of
Correction on or before June 4, 2019; (3) the motion to
compel (D.I. 63) is DENIED; (4) the motion
to supplement the request for counsel (D.I. 74) is
DISMISSED as moot; and (5) the request for
counsel (D.I. 74) is DENIED without
prejudice to renew, for the reasons that follow:
Motions to Compel Documents, D.I. 41, 67. Plaintiff James N.
McCardell, an inmate housed at the James T. Vaughn
Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware, filed this case
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On August 3, 2018, he
filed a request for production of documents upon Defendant.
(D.I. 37). On September 12, 2018, he filed a motion to compel
responses to the request. (D.I. 41). On January 9, 2019,
Defendant responded to the request. (D.I. 54, 55, 56, 57, 58,
59). Defendant objected to some of the requests, but also
provided a voluminous amount of responsive documents.
(See id.). On March 12, 2019, Defendant supplemented
its response. (D.I. 70). On February 5, 2019, Plaintiff filed
another motion to compel seeking the same information as
sought in the August 3, 2018 request for production of
documents. (D.I. 67).
"Parties may obtain discovery regarding any
nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's
claim or defense-including the existence, description,
nature, custody, condition, and location of any documents or
other tangible things and the identity and location of
persons who know of any discoverable matter. For good cause,
the court may order discovery of any matter relevant to the
subject matter involved in the action. Relevant information
need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears
reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible
evidence." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). The Court has reviewed
Plaintiff's requests and Defendant's responses and
finds that Defendant's objections are well-taken and
responses adequate, with the exception of it not providing a
copy of the medical contract between Defendant and the
Delaware Department of Correction because it is available
on-line. However, Plaintiff, an incarcerated individual, does
not have internet access. Therefore, Defendant shall provide
the document to Plaintiff on or before June 4, 2019.
Motion to Compel Admissions, D.I. 63. On
December 10, 2018, Plaintiff served a request for admissions
upon Defendant. (D.I. 52). On January 9, 2019, Defendant
filed its responses. (D.I. 53). On January 14, 2019, Plaintiff
filed a motion to compel Defendant to respond to the requests
for admissions. (D.I. 63, 64). Defendant timely responded to
the request for admission. Therefore, the motion to compel
will be denied.
Motion to Supplement Request for Counsel, D.I.
74. Plaintiff filed a request for counsel on June
21, 2018. (D.I. 34). On July 25, 2018, the request was denied
without prejudice to renew. (D.I. 35, 36). Plaintiff moves to
supplement the June 2018 request for counsel under the
mistaken belief that the Court did not rule on the motion.
Therefore, the motion will be dismissed as moot.
the extent Plaintiff seeks to renew his request for counsel,
the Court notes that he proceeds pro se and has been
granted in forma pauperis status. However, a pro
se litigant proceeding in forma pauperis has no
constitutional or statutory right to representation by
counsel. See Brightwell v. Lehman, 637 F.3d 187, 192
(3d Cir. 2011); Tabron v. Grace, 6 F.3d 147, 153 (3d
Cir. 1993). Representation by counsel may be appropriate
under certain circumstances, after a finding that a
plaintiff's claim has arguable merit in fact and law.
Tabron, 6 F.3d at 155.
After passing this threshold inquiry, the Court should
consider a number of factors when assessing a request for
counsel. Factors to be considered by a court in deciding
whether to request a lawyer to represent an indigent
plaintiff include: (1) the merits of the plaintiff's
claim; (2) the plaintiff's ability to present his or her
case considering his or her education, literacy, experience,
and the restraints placed upon him or her by incarceration;
(3) the complexity of the legal issues; (4) the degree to
which factual investigation is required and the
plaintiff's ability to pursue such investigation; (5) the
plaintiff's capacity to retain counsel on his or her own
behalf; and (6) the degree to which the case turns on
credibility determinations or expert testimony. See
Montgomery v. Pinchak, 294 F.3d 492, 498-99 (3d Cir.
2002); Tabron, 6 F.3d at 155-56. The list is not
exhaustive, nor is any one factor determinative.
Tabron, 6 F.3d at 157.
Assuming, solely for the purpose of deciding this motion,
that Plaintiff's claims have merit in fact and law,
several of the Tabron factors militate against granting his
request for counsel. After reviewing Plaintiff's
complaint, the Court concludes that the case is not so
factually or legally complex that requesting an attorney to
volunteer to represent Plaintiff is warranted. In addition,
Plaintiff has ably represented himself to date, including
obtaining the necessary discovery. Therefore, the Court will
deny Plaintiff's request for counsel without prejudice to
renew. (D.I. 74). Should the need for counsel arise later,
one can be sought at that time.
 Defendant amended its responses on May
20, 2019. (See D.I. ...