Davis v. Moroney

Illinois inmate Davis sued prison officials under 42 U.S.C. 1983, asking the court to recruit counsel. He stated that he had tried to secure counsel, referring to a letter from a law firm corroborating his efforts; no letter was attached. The district court screened Davis’s complaint, 28 U.S.C. 1915A, and allowed him to proceed on his excessive-force claim against one guard, but dismissed a conspiracy claim against others on the ground that Davis had no federal constitutional right to a grievance procedure. The court denied Davis’s motion for counsel, stating that he failed to demonstrate that he made a reasonable attempt to obtain counsel. Davis failed to respond to interrogatories and repeatedly renewed his request for recruitment of counsel, stating that he was unable to aid the inmate who was preparing his filings, reads at a 6th-grade level, and has a “paranoid delusional disorder.” He attached his “legal mail card,” which cataloged his incoming and outgoing mail to law firms. The court ultimately dismissed the case and denied Davis’s subsequent motions. The Seventh Circuit recruited counsel and reversed. The interrogatories that Davis failed to answer were above his comprehension. Davis did not have a fair opportunity to prosecute his case, given his severe intellectual handicaps, his apparently diligent efforts, his potentially meritorious claim, and “the irregularities" of the court’s handling of the case. View "Davis v. Moroney" on Justia Law