United States District Court, W.D. Texas, San Antonio Division
ORDER SETTING INITIAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCE
ELIZABETH S. ("BETSY") CHESTNEY UNITED STATES
the Court is the above-styled and numbered cause of action,
which was referred to the undersigned on July 12, 2019 for
all pretrial proceedings after the District Court adopted the
undersigned's report and recommendation and dismissed
Plaintiff's claims against Defendants City of San Antonio
and Officer Sweeney and reissued service as to Defendant
Officer Manriquez [#54]. The record reflects that Officer
Manriquez filed an answer on May 28, 2019 [#51]. Accordingly,
pursuant to Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
the Court will set this case for an initial pretrial
conference and order the parties to confer as required under
pending before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for
Appointment of Counsel [#48]. The Court will deny the motion.
Courts may appoint counsel pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(1) in IFP proceedings. Under § 1915(e)(1), the
Court has discretion to appoint an attorney to represent a
litigant in federal court, but there is no right to the
automatic appointment of counsel in a civil case. Akasike
v. Fitzpatrick, 26 F.3d 510, 512 (5th Cir. 1994);
Cupit v. Jones, 835 F.2d 82, 86 (5th Cir. 1987).
Appointment of counsel in a civil case is considered a
privilege, not a constitutional right, and should be allowed
only in exceptional circumstances. Lopez v. Reyes,
692 F.2d 15, 17 (5th Cir. 1982) (citation omitted); see
Cupit, 835 F.2d at 86. In evaluating whether the
appointment of counsel is proper under § 1915(e), the
district court considers the type and complexity of the case,
the litigant's ability to investigate and present the
case, and the level of skill required to present the
evidence. See Castro Romero v. Becken, 256 F.3d 349,
354 (5th Cir. 2001). Plaintiff has not demonstrated that
exceptional circumstances are present in her case or that,
based on the record, appointment of counsel is appropriate
under the applicable legal standards under 28 U.S.C. §
light of the fact that Plaintiff is representing herself pro
se in this action, the Court directs her to the following
resources to assist her in prosecuting her case:
• The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, available at:
• This Court's Local Rules, available at
• The “Complete Pro Se Manual” which is
available on the Court's website at:
is directed to familiarize herself with these resources.
Also, although pro se litigants are held to a less stringent
standard, they are nevertheless required to follow the rules
that govern all litigants in federal court. Grant v.
Cuellar, 59 F.3d 524, 524 (5th Cir. 1995). These rules
include but are not limited to the rules and Court orders
regarding conference with opposing counsel, following
deadlines imposed by the rules and the Court's Scheduling
Order, observing the response times for nondispositive and
dispositive motions as set forth in Local Rule CV-7(e), and
keeping the Court updated with a current address to ensure
all filings are received.
THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion for Appointment
of Counsel [#48] is DENIED.
FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Rule 16 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, this case is set for an Initial
Pretrial Conference at 1:30 p.m. on August 28, 2019, in
Courtroom B on the 4th Floor of the John H. Wood,
Jr. United States Courthouse, 655 E. Cesar Chavez Boulevard,
San Antonio, Texas, 78206.
conference, the Court will enter a Scheduling Order in this
case and assign the parties a date for a jury or bench trial.
Plaintiff and counsel for Defendant Manriquez may appear by
phone for the conference. Counsel should contact Valeria
Sandoval, the Courtroom Deputy, for call-in information at
email@example.com. The use of
speaker phones is prohibited during a telephonic appearance.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the parties confer in the
manner required by Rule 26(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure and submit a Joint Discovery/Case Management Plan
that answers the following questions no later than
Monday, August 26, 2019:
1. Are there any outstanding jurisdictional issues? For
removed cases based on diversity jurisdiction, do the parties
agree that the amount in controversy exceeded $75, 000 at the
time of removal? If not, each party should state its position
on the amount in controversy.
2. Are there any unserved parties? If more than 90 days have
passed since the filing of the Complaint or petition, should