United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
MICHAEL A. WOOD, Plaintiff,
CHAD EUBANKS, et al., Defendants.
M. ROSE DISTRICT JUDGE
L. OVINGTON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Michael A. Wood brings this case pro se against
Defendants Chad Eubanks, Mario Troutman, Cherish Steiger,
Matthew Yakes, Jacob Shaw, and Joseph Johnson alleging under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Bivens that they
violated his Constitutional rights, including his First
Amendment, Fifth Amendment, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
This case is before the Court upon Plaintiff's Motion for
Appointment of Counsel (Doc. #20), Plaintiff's Motion to
Depose Defendants (Doc. #21), Defendants' Response (Doc.
#24), and Plaintiff's Motions for Leave to Supplement
Complaint (Doc. #s 25-26).
Court denied Plaintiff's first Motion to Appoint Counsel.
(Doc. #s 8, 11). He now renews his Motion. (Doc. #20).
However, the circumstances have not changed. As previously
explained, the Constitution does not require the appointment
of counsel for indigent plaintiffs in cases such as this;
Congress has not provided funds with which to compensate
attorneys who might agree to represent those plaintiffs; and
there are not enough attorneys who can absorb the costs of
representing persons on a voluntary basis to permit the Court
to appoint an attorney for all who file cases on their own
behalf. The Court makes every effort to appoint counsel in
those cases which proceed to trial, and in exceptional
circumstances will attempt to appoint counsel at an earlier
stage of the litigation. No. such circumstances appear in
this case. Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motion for
Appointment of Counsel (Doc. #20) is DENIED.
seeks leave to depose Defendants Chad Eubanks, Mario
Troutman, Jr., Cherish Steiger, Matthew Yates, Jacob Shaw,
and Joseph Johnson. (Doc. #21). Defendants correctly observe
that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not require
leave of court to depose opposing parties. Fed.R.Civ.P. 30
(a)(2)(B) requires a party to seek leave of court if the
deponent is confined in prison. Defendants are not
incarcerated and therefore, Plaintiff does not need leave of
the Court to depose them. Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motion
for Leave to Depose Defendants (Doc. #21) is DENIED as moot.
extent Plaintiff is asking the Court to pay for the costs
associated with those depositions, “‘this court
has no authority to finance or pay for a party's
discovery expenses even though the party has been granted
leave to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a).'” Shoucair v. Snacker, No.
05-40341, 2009 WL 482689, *1 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 25, 2009)
(quoting Coates v. Kafczynski, No. 2:05-cv-3, 2006
WL 416244, *2-3 (W.D. Mich. 2006)) (citing Badman v.
Stark, 139 F.R.D. 601, 605 (M.D. Pa. 1991) (§ 1915
does not require the government to advance funds for
deposition expenses); Doe v. United States, 112
F.R.D. 183, 184-85 (S.D.N.Y. 1986) (in forma
pauperis statute does not require government to advance
funds for deposition expenses); Sturdevant v. Deer,
69 F.R.D. 17, 19 (E.D. Wis. 1975) (28 U.S.C. § 1915
“does not extend to the cost of taking and transcribing
a deposition.”)) (other citations omitted). However,
there are several alternatives Plaintiff may consider.
“In some cases, prison officials have offered a
deposition by telephone, so long as Plaintiff can first
demonstrate his ability to pay the fees associated with
conducting telephonic depositions.” Dearing v.
Mahalma, No. 1:11-CV-204, 2012 WL 524438, *2 (S.D. Ohio
Feb. 16, 2012) (Bowman, M.J.) (citing Brown v. Carr,
236 F.R.D. 311 (S.D. Tex. 2006) (state prisoner proceeding
in forma pauperis in § 1983 action against
prison officials required to pay fees associated with
conducting telephonic depositions of officials)). “If
Plaintiff cannot afford to take the depositions of Defendants
via telephone, he may take the depositions upon written
questions, see Rule 31. Alternatively, he may simply
serve Defendants with interrogatories under Rule 33
Plaintiff seeks leave to supplement his Complaint to assert
additional claims against all Defendants. (Doc. #s 25-26).
Defendants have not filed a response to Plaintiff's
Motions and the deadlines for doing so have expired.
Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motions for Leave to Supplement
Complaint (Doc. #s 25-26) are GRANTED. Plaintiff shall file
his amended complaint on or before August 2, 2019.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT
Plaintiff's Motion for Appointment of Counsel (Doc. #20)
Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Depose Defendants (Doc.
#21) is DENIED; and
Plaintiff's Motions for Leave to Supplement Complaint
(Doc. #s 25-26) are GRANTED.
Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents
of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388, 91 S.Ct.