United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. Hollander United States District Judge
26, 2017, the self-represented plaintiff, Darrell Bellard,
filed a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
seeking declaratory and injunctive relief as well as damages.
ECF 1. Bellard, an inmate housed at the North Branch
Correctional Institution (“NBCI”), also filed a
motion for preliminary injunction (ECF 3,
“Motion”) as well as a motion for the appointment
of counsel. ECF 5.
alleges in his Complaint that he suffers from rheumatoid
arthritis to both knees, resulting in pain, stiffness,
tenderness, and swelling. In his motion for preliminary
injunction, Bellard alleges that he will be subject to
irreparable harm if he is not provided adequate pain
medication, a medical cell, and assistive devices, such as a
walking cane for his cell and unit and a wheelchair.
28, 2017, the court ordered the Maryland Attorney General to
respond to the Complaint and to the Motion. ECF 4. Defendants
have complied. ECF 14. Their response is supported by
exhibits, including over 200 pages of medical records.
See ECF 14-5. Based on the Attorney General's
response, the court will deny the Motion.
preliminary injunction is an extraordinary and drastic
remedy. See Munaf v. Geren, 553 U.S. 674, 689-90
(2008). To obtain a preliminary injunction, a movant must
demonstrate: 1) that he is likely to succeed on the merits;
2) that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the
absence of preliminary relief; 3) that the balance of
equities tips in his favor; and 4) that an injunction is in
the public interest. See Winter v. Natural Resources
Defense Council, Inc, 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008); The
Real Truth About Obama, Inc. v. Federal Election
Commission, 575 F.3d 342, 346 (4th Cir. 2009), vacated
on other grounds, 559 U.S. 1089 (2010), reinstated in
relevant part on remand, 607 F.3d 355 (4th Cir. 2010) (per
curiam). At its core, plaintiff's injunctive relief
request focuses on his alleged need for medication and a
cane, without which he may suffer irreparable harm.
a preliminary injunction based only on a possibility of
irreparable harm is inconsistent with [the Supreme
Court's] characterization of injunctive relief as an
extraordinary remedy that may only be awarded upon a clear
showing that the plaintiff is entitled to such relief.”
Winter, 555 U.S. at, 22 (citing Mazurek v.
Armstrong, 520 U.S. 968, 972 (1997) (per curiam)).
Plaintiff is receiving medication, occasionally uses a cane,
and has been provided therapy designed to increase his
mobility. ECF 14-1. Thus, plaintiff cannot support his claim
that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm.
also requests appointment of counsel. ECF 5. A district
court's power to appoint counsel under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(1) is a discretionary one, and may be
considered where an indigent claimant presents exceptional
circumstances. See Cook v. Bounds, 518 F.2d 779 (4th
Cir. 1975); see also, Branch v. Cole, 686 F.2d 264
(5th Cir. 1982). However, there is no absolute right to
appointment of counsel; an indigent claimant must present
“exceptional circumstances.” See Miller v.
Simmons, 814 F.2d 962, 966 (4th Cir. 1987). Exceptional
circumstances exist where a “pro se litigant has a
colorable claim but lacks the capacity to present it.”
See Whisenant v. Yuam, 739 F.2d 160, 163 (4th Cir.
1984), abrogated on other grounds by Mallard v. U.S.
Dist. Ct., 490 U.S. 296, 298 (1989) (holding that 28
U.S.C. § 1915 does not authorize compulsory appointment
careful consideration of the Motion and the previous filings
by plaintiff, the court finds that he has demonstrated the
wherewithal either to articulate the legal and factual basis
of his claims for himself or secure meaningful assistance in
doing so. The issues pending before the court are not unduly
complicated. Therefore, at this time, there are no
exceptional circumstances that would warrant the appointment
of an attorney to represent plaintiff under '1915(e)(1).
 The Court previously granted
Bellard's Motion to proceed in forma pauperis.
See ECF 2; ECF 4.
 Under § 1915(e)(1), a Court of
the United States may request an attorney to represent any
person unable ...