United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Macon Division
ORDER AND REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Stephen Hyles, United States Magistrate Judge.
before the Court is Defendants McLaughlin, Howard, Charles,
Mango, Ellis, and Augusta University's motion for summary
judgment (ECF No. 61) and Plaintiff's motion seeking
appointed counsel (ECF No. 67). For the reasons explained
below, Plaintiff's motion is denied and it is recommended
that Defendants' motion for summary judgment be granted.
claims arise from his incarceration at the Macon State Prison
(“MSP”). Am. Compl. 5, ECF No. 4. He alleges that
on November 4, 2016, he began experiencing symptoms of a
heart attack, including a headache; weakness, numbness, and
tingling in his hands; and chest pain. Id. Plaintiff
alerted two prison guards to his condition, and they
attempted to contact the medical department to advise them
they “ha[d] a medical emergency” and required
immediate assistance. Id. After approximately one
hour passed with no response from medical, Plaintiff alleges
he saw Defendants Charles and Mango, prison officials, and
informed them that he was having a heart attack. Id.
Plaintiff alleges neither Defendant took any action and that
they were “clearly hoping [Plaintiff] would die of [a]
heart attack.” Id.
also alleges he never received treatment for his heart attack
and filed emergency grievances related to this lack of care,
stating that his condition was “life
threatening.” See Am. Compl. 8. In his second
amended complaint, Plaintiff also appears to allege that
Defendant Mango falsely noted-in the “dorm log
book” -that Plaintiff had been to medical. 2nd Am.
Compl. 3, ECF No. 29. He also states that Defendant Ellis told
Defendant Mango not to bring Plaintiff to medical, because
she would “check him” at his cell. Id.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Howard, a grievance
coordinator, and Defendant McLaughlin, the prison warden,
failed to take action on his emergency grievances and
falsified documents in response to such grievances.
Id. Plaintiff also appears to allege that
Defendants' refusal to provide him with appropriate
medical care was retaliation for a civil complaint Plaintiff
previously filed against some of the named Defendants.
See, e.g., Am. Compl. 6.
preliminary review, the Court determined that Plaintiff's
medical deliberate indifference claims against Defendants
McLaughlin, Howard, Charles, and Mango could proceed, as
could his retaliation claims against Defendants McLaughlin
and Howard. Order 2, Oct. 31, 2017, ECF No. 35. His other
claims were dismissed without prejudice. Id. On
April 26, 2018, the Court granted Plaintiff leave to amend
his complaint, adding Defendants Ellis, Hutchins, and Georgia
Regents University. Order 1, ECF No. 39. On September 17,
2018, Defendants filed their joint motion for summary
judgment (ECF No. 61).
Motion for Appointed Counsel
has again moved for the Court to appoint counsel to assist
him in this case. 2nd Mot. to Appoint Counsel 1, ECF No. 67.
The Court denied Plaintiff's prior motion (ECF No. 38)
because he failed to show extraordinary circumstances
justifying the appointment of counsel. Order 2-3, April 26,
2018, ECF No. 38. Now, Plaintiff argues counsel should be
appointed because he cannot afford counsel, has limited
knowledge of federal law, and believes Defendants'
summary judgment motion presents complex issues. 2nd Mot. to
Appoint Counsel 1.
is “no absolute constitutional right to the appointment
of counsel” in a § 1983 lawsuit. Poole v.
Lambert, 819 F.2d 1025, 1028 (11th Cir. 1987) (per
curiam). Indeed, “appointment of counsel in a civil
case . . . is a privilege that is justified only by
exceptional circumstances.” Wahl v. McIver,
773 F.2d 1169, 1174 (11th Cir. 1985). Such circumstances do
not exist here. In deciding whether legal counsel should be
provided, the Court considers, inter alia, the
merits of Plaintiff's claims and the complexity of the
issues presented. Holt v. Ford, 862 F.2d 850, 853
(11th Cir. 1989) (en banc). The facts of this case are not
overly complicated and the law governing Plaintiff's
claims is neither novel nor complex. Accordingly,
Plaintiff's renewed motion seeking appointed counsel (ECF
No. 67) is denied.
judgment may be granted only “if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In determining whether a genuine
dispute of material fact exists to defeat a motion
for summary judgment, the evidence is viewed in the light
most favorable to the party opposing summary judgment,
drawing all justifiable inferences in the opposing
party's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). A fact is material if it
is relevant or necessary to the outcome of the suit.
Id. at 248. A factual dispute is genuine if
the evidence would allow a reasonable jury to return a
verdict for the nonmoving party. Id.
party moving for summary judgment bears the initial
responsibility of informing the district court of the basis
for its motion  and identifying those portions of the
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,
which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue
of material fact.” Jones v. UPS Ground
Freight, 683 F.3d 1283, 1292 (11th Cir. 2012) (internal
quotation marks and citations omitted) (alterations in
original). “The burden then shifts to the non-moving
party to rebut that showing by producing affidavits or other
relevant and admissible evidence beyond the pleadings.”
Id. (internal quotation marks and citations
omitted). “The ...