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Case 1:11-cv-20120-PAS Document 18

Entered on FLSD Docket 03/30/2011 Page 1 of 4

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA CASE NO. 11-20120-CIV-SEITZ/O'SULLIVAN TRAIAN BUJDUVEANU, Plaintiff, vs. ANA GINSPERT and DISMAS CHARITIES, INC., Defendants. ______________________________/ ORDER THIS MATTER is before the Court on the plaintiff’s Motion to Appoint Counsel (DE# 8, 1/31/11) and on the plaintiff’s second Motion for the Appointment of Counsel (DE# 13, 3/28/11). Having reviewed the motions and being otherwise advised in the premises, it is ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the plaintiff’s Motion to Appoint Counsel (DE# 8, 1/31/11) and second Motion for the Appointment of Counsel (DE# 13, 3/28/11) are DENIED. Pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 1915(d), a district court has discretion to appoint counsel for indigent litigants in civil cases. “Court appointed counsel in civil cases is warranted only in ‘exceptional circumstances.’” Steele v. Shah, 87 F.3d 1266, 1271 (11th Cir. 1996) (citing Kiglo v. Ricks, 983 F.2d 189, 193 (11th Cir. 1993)). “The merits of the plaintiff’s claim and whether the claim is factually or legally so complex as to warrant assistance of counsel” are some of the factors that the Court should consider to determine whether exceptional circumstances exist. Holt v. Ford, 862 F.2d 850, 853 (11th Cir. 1989).

Case 1:11-cv-20120-PAS Document 18

Entered on FLSD Docket 03/30/2011 Page 2 of 4

Having reviewed the pleadings, the undersigned finds that no such exceptional circumstances exist in case at hand. As it appears from the plaintiff’s Motion for the Return of Property (DE# 1, 1/12/11), the plaintiff alleges that he was subjected to excessive discipline for driving a vehicle. He asserts that he did not know such driving violated his home confinement regime. Id. at 1-2. The plaintiff also alleges that the defendant organization, through its staff, removed the personal items from the plaintiff’s possession and/or vehicle without proper notice or authority. Id. at 2. The Motion for the Return of Property, however, does not make it clear that the defendants were under an obligation to provide such notice and does not establish what constitutes proper notice. The Motion for the Return of Property also fails to establish the value of the property allegedly removed by the defendants. Finally, the plaintiff alleges hostile, abusive and threatening conduct on the part of the defendant Dismas Charities’ staff. Id. at 3. The Motion for the Return of Property does not include any examples or descriptions of specific instances of conduct that would constitute a threat or abuse or create a hostile environment. Additionally, the plaintiff’s claim of an unlawful search of his vehicle lacks merit. The defendants are private parties, and, therefore, their actions do not trigger the constitutional implications of the Fourth Amendment. However, “[i]n case of a pro se action, . . . the court should construe the complaint more liberally than it would formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Powell v. Lennon, 914 F.2d 1459, 1463 (11th Cir. 1990). The undersigned finds that the allegations in the Motion for the Return of Property, although unclear and insufficiently described, may have merit. 2

Case 1:11-cv-20120-PAS Document 18

Entered on FLSD Docket 03/30/2011 Page 3 of 4

With regard to the complexity of the case, “[t]he key [question] is whether the pro se litigant needs help in presenting the essential merits of his or her position to the court. Where the facts and issues are simple, he or she usually will not need such help.” Kiglo, at 983 F.2d at 193 (emphasis added). The issues raised in the plaintiff’s pleadings are not legally or factually complex. As evident from the pleadings, the plaintiff was able to research the subject matter and provide background and legal allegations without the assistance of counsel. While legal assistance in this case may be beneficial, the claims asserted by the plaintiff do not constitute novel or complex issues. The merits of the case are unclear and, at least based on the facts alleged in the Motion for the Return of Property, do not seem particularly strong. The claims asserted in the Motion for the Return of Property do not involve complex or novel legal issues. Therefore, the circumstances in this case do not rise to the level of “exceptional.” The plaintiff’s Motion to Appoint Counsel (DE# 8, 1/31/11) and his second Motion for the Appointment of Counsel (DE# 13, 3/28/11) are DENIED. The plaintiff may contact the Volunteer Lawyers Project, located at 100 SE 2nd Street, # 4320, Miami, FL 33131-2113, tel. (305) 373-4334, to determine whether he can obtain free legal assistance with this case. DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at Miami, Florida this 30th day of March, 2011.

__________________________________ JOHN J. O’SULLIVAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

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Case 1:11-cv-20120-PAS Document 18

Entered on FLSD Docket 03/30/2011 Page 4 of 4

Copies provided to: United States District Judge Seitz All counsel of record

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