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Williams v. Court Servs. & offender Supervision Agency for D.C.

United States District Court, District of Columbia

April 8, 2013

LINWOOD A. WILLIAMS, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
COURT SERVICES AND OFFENDER SUPERVISION AGENCY FOR D.C., et al., Defendants

LINWOOD A. WILLIAMS, JR., Plaintiff, Pro se, Beltsville, MD.

For COURT SERVICES AND OFFENDER SUPERVISION AGENCY, Defendant: Peter C. Pfaffenroth, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC.

Page 42

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

RICHARD W. ROBERTS, United States District Judge.

Pro se plaintiff Linwood A. Williams, Jr. sues the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia (" CSOSA" ) and three agency officials alleging sex discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. Williams renews his motion for appointment of counsel and moves for sanctions against CSOSA. Williams' motions will be denied because Williams has not demonstrated that appointing counsel or imposing sanctions are warranted.

BACKGROUND

The background of this case is set out fully in Williams v. Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for D.C., 772 F.Supp.2d 186 (D.D.C. 2011), vacated on reconsideration, 840 F.Supp.2d 192 (D.D.C. 2012). Briefly, Williams served as a Supervisory Community Supervision Officer at CSOSA and alleges that the agency retaliated against him and ultimately terminated him in response to complaints that Williams filed against the agency. Williams appealed his termination to the Merit Systems Protection Board (" MSPB" ), and an MSPB administrative judge affirmed the agency action and denied Williams' petition to reconsider. Williams filed this action and moved for in forma pauperis (" IFP" ) status and for appointment of counsel. A July 23, 2012 memorandum opinion and order granted Williams' motion for IFP status, but denied Williams' motion for appointment of counsel. Williams renews his motion for appointment of counsel and moves for sanctions against CSOSA.

DISCUSSION

I. APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL

Courts have discretion to appoint counsel to represent an indigent pro se party. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1); see also 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1) (providing that " [u]pon application by the complainant and in such circumstances as the court may deem just, the court may appoint an attorney" ). The following factors guide the exercise of courts' discretion:

(i) the nature and complexity of the action;

Page 43

(ii) the potential merit of the pro se party's claims; (iii) the demonstrated inability of the pro se party to retain counsel by other means; and(iv) the degree to which the interests of justice will be served by appointment of counsel, including the benefit ...

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