UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
PHILIP M. ANDREWS
CIVIL ACTION NO.
COMMUNITY RENEWAL TEAM, INC.
JANUARY 25, 2007
RULING ON MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL [DOC. NO. 4]
The plaintiff, Philip M. Andrews, seeks appointment of pro bono counsel in this
action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is
The district court has broad discretion in considering whether to appoint counsel.
The Second Circuit has also made clear that before an appointment is even
considered, the indigent person must demonstrate that he is unable to obtain counsel.
Hodge v. Police Officers, 802 F.2d 58, 61 (2d Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 996
Even assuming that Mr. Morris is unable to obtain legal representation on his
own, the court must also consider other factors. The Second Circuit has cautioned the
district courts against the routine appointment of counsel. See, e.g., Hendricks v.
Coughlin, 114 F.3d 390, 393 (2d Cir. 1997); Cooper v. A. Sargenti Co., 877 F. 2d 170,
172 (2d Cir. 1989). Instead, the district court must first require an indigent to “pass the
test of likely merit.” Cooper, 877 F.2d at 173-74. See also Machadio v. Apfel, 276 F.3d
103, 107-08 (2d Cir. 2002). “[E]ven where the claim is not frivolous, counsel is often
unwarranted where the indigent’s chances of success are extremely slim.” Cooper, 877
F.2d at 171; see also Carmona v. United States Bureau of Prisons, 234 F.3d 629, 632
Case 3:07-cv-00089-JCH Document 5 Filed 01/29/2007 Page 1 of 2
Andrews v. Community Renewal Team, Inc
(2d Cir. 2001). When deciding whether to appoint counsel, the district court must thus
“determine whether the indigent’s position seems likely to be of substance.” Hodge,
802 F.2d at 61. Only after assessing the merits of the case, should the court consider
the litigant’s “competence to proceed pro se, the complexity of the issues,” and any
other reason why the