Best v. A.C.S. et al, No. 1:2012cv07874 - Document 48 (S.D.N.Y. 2013)

Court Description: OPINION AND ORDER: By letter dated March 21, 2013, pro se plaintiff Bishop Frank Best moves the Court to grant his request for pro bono counsel. For the reasons set forth herein, the motion is denied without prejudice. Here, Best filed this action, s eemingly pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that defendants improperly removed his children from his custody and requesting their return. The merits of Best's case are not so apparent as to warrant the appointment of counsel. It is clea r, moreover, that Best's search to obtain counsel has not been exhaustive. Accordingly, the Court denies Best's application without prejudice and leave to renew after the Court has ruled on defendants' anticipated motion to dismiss. (Signed by Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn on 3/25/2013) Copies Sent By Chambers. (ja)
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK -----------------------------------------------------------------X Bishop Frank BEST, 3/25/2013 12-CV-07874 (RJS)(SN) Plaintiff, OPINION AND ORDER -againstA.C.S., et al., Defendants. -----------------------------------------------------------------X SARAH NETBURN, United States Magistrate Judge: By letter dated March 21, 2013, pro se plaintiff Bishop Frank Best moves the Court to grant his request for pro bono counsel. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is denied without prejudice. A federal judge has broad discretion when deciding whether to appoint counsel to an indigent litigant. Hodge v. Police Officers, 802 F.2d 58, 60 (2d Cir. 1986); see Burgos v. Hopkins, 14 F.3d 787, 789 (2d Cir. 1994). There is no requirement that an indigent litigant be appointed pro bono counsel in civil matters. Burgos, 14 F.3d at 789; 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). The factors to be considered in ruling on a motion for pro bono counsel are well settled and include the merits of plaintiff s case, the plaintiff s ability to pay for private counsel, [plaintiff s] efforts to obtain a lawyer, the availability of counsel, and the plaintiff s ability to gather the facts and deal with the issues if unassisted by counsel. Cooper v. A. Sargenti Co., 877 F.2d 170, 172 (2d Cir. 1989). Of these, the factor which command[s] the most attention [is] the merits. Indeed: [c]ourts do not perform a useful service if case which a private lawyer would not ta they appoint a volunteer law yer to a ke if it were brought to his or her attention. Nor do courts perf orm a socially justified f unction when they request the services of a volunteer lawyer fo r a meritless case that no lawyer would tak e were the plaintiff not indigent. Id, Here, Best filed this action, seemingly pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging that defendants improperly removed his children from his custody and requesting their return. The merits of Best s case are not so apparent as to warrant the appointment of counsel. It is clear, moreover, that Best s search to obtain counsel has not been exhaustive. Accordingly, the Court denies Best s application without prejudice and leave to renew after the Court has ruled on defendants anticipated motion to dismiss. SO ORDERED. DATED: New York, New York March 25, 2013 cc: Bishop Frank Best 131-19 Farmers Blvd Queens, NY 11434