United States District Court, D. Maryland
DONALD G. REMBOLD, DOC #449211, SID #174653, Plaintiff,
INITIA LETTAU, et al., Defendants.
L. HOLLANDER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
January 2, 2019, plaintiff Donald G. Rembold filed the
above-captioned civil rights Complaint. ECF 1. By letter
dated April 5, 2019, Assistant Attorney General Joseph Dudek
entered his appearance on behalf of defendants James Reilly,
Sherri Hellman, Barbara Gill, Julie L. Ensor, Marilyn
Bentley, Halle Bennett, Terri Mumma, and Gregory Hilton. ECF
16; see also ECF 15. On April 25, 2019, A. Stephen
Hut, Jr. entered his appearance on behalf of the remaining
defendants, Initia Lettau and Brendan Costigan. ECF 21.
to Mr. Hut's entry of appearance, plaintiff filed a
“Notice of Motion and Request for Consent to Entry of
Default Judgment” and Motion to Appoint Counsel. ECF
19; ECF 20. On April 29, 2019, plaintiff filed a Declaration
in Support of Motion for the Appointment of Counsel. ECF 22.
Thereafter, defendants filed motions to dismiss for failure
to state a claim. ECF 24; ECF 25. ECF 25 is supported by
to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir.
1975), the court informed plaintiff that the failure to file
a response in opposition to the defendants' motions could
result in dismissal of his Complaint. ECF 26; ECF 27.
6, 2019, plaintiff filed a “Notice of Motion for
Extention [sic] of Time for Request for Consent to Motion for
Default Judgment and Motion for Judgment of Contempt.”
Notice of Motion and Request for Consent to Entry of Default
Judgment appears to be a letter addressed to defendants
encouraging them to “negotiate or agree to an amicable
settlement.” See ECF 19. While the parties are
free to enter into settlement discussions at any time, the
court cannot compel them to engage in settlement discussions.
See Hodge v. Stephens, No. 12-CV-01988-AW, 2013 WL
398870, at *17 (D. Md. Jan. 31, 2013), aff'd,
533 Fed.Appx. 344 (4th Cir. 2013). Therefore, to the extent
plaintiff moves this court for settlement of the instant
action, his motion shall be denied.
plaintiff's Motion to Appoint Counsel, he states that he
is unable to afford counsel, the issues involved in this case
are complex, and he has limited access to reference materials
and limited knowledge of the law. ECF 20. A federal district
court judge'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). 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). The question of whether such
circumstances exist in a particular case hinges on the
characteristics of the claim and the litigant. See
Whisenant v. Yuam, 739 F.2d 160, 163 (4th Cir. 1984).
Where a colorable claim exists but the litigant has no
capacity to present it, counsel should be appointed.
the Complaint concerns plaintiff's allegations that
defendants denied his access to the courts. See ECF
1. In plaintiff's “Declaration In Support Of The
Motion For The Appointment Of Counsel” (ECF 22), he
adds that this is a complex case because all the defendants
are judicial appointees or lawyers who have conspired against
careful consideration of plaintiff's motion and his
previous filings, the court finds that he has demonstrated
the wherewithal either to articulate the legal and factual
basis of his claims himself or secure meaningful assistance
in doing so. The issues pending before the court are not
unduly complicated. Therefore, there are no exceptional
circumstances that would warrant the appointment of an
attorney to represent plaintiff under §1915(e)(1) at
this time. Accordingly, the motion to appoint counsel and
supporting Declaration will be denied, without prejudice.
in plaintiff's “Notice of Motion for Extention
[sic] of Time for Request for Consent to Motion for Default
Judgment and Motion for Judgment of Contempt, ” he
contends that defendants “violated this court's
ORDER dated January 14th, 2019, which prohibits filing papers
under . . . Civil Action No. ELH-19-72, ” presumably by
filing their Motion to Dismiss in that case. Defendants,
however, filed an identical motion in this case, and
certified that a copy was sent to plaintiff. See ECF
24. Thus, to the extent plaintiff moves for default judgment
or for judgment of contempt to be entered against defendants,
that motion shall be denied. Should plaintiff wish to reply
to defendants' dispositive motions, he shall do so by
July 1, 2019.
separate Order follows.
 Mr. Hut also filed an identical motion
to dismiss in the related case at Civil Action No.