United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ERIC J. MAPES, and JENELLE M. KELLY-MAPES, Plaintiffs,
HATCHER REAL ESTATE et al., Defendants.
ENTRY GRANTING MOTION TO AMEND/ATTACH AND DENYING
MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OR RECUSAL
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
matter is before the Court on pro se Plaintiffs Eric
Mapes and Jenelle M. Kelly-Mapes' (collectively,
“Plaintiffs”) Motion to Amend/Attach, Dkt. 35,
and Notice of Motion and Motion for Reconsideration of
Disability Accommodation Request, and Motion for
Change/Recusal of Judge, Dkt. 36. For the reasons stated
below, the Motion to Amend/Attach is granted
and the Motion for Reconsideration and Recusal is
Plaintiffs ask the Court to amend or attach an exhibit to
their Amended Complaint and to reconsider denial of their
request for assistance in recruiting counsel and denial of
their motion to recuse. The Court will address each request
Motion to Amend/Attach
Motion to Amend/Attach, the Plaintiffs assert that they have
delivered in person to the Clerk's Office, Exhibit 3, a
flash drive containing three video files and two sealed
medical documents. The Motion, Dkt. 35, is
granted in that the Court acknowledges
receipt of the flash drive as Exhibit 3 to the Amended
Complaint and filed at Dkt. 34.
The Motion for Reconsideration of Disability
Court previously explained (in Dkts. 12, 24 and 27), that
motions to reconsider “serve a limited function: to
correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly
discovered evidence.” State Farm Fire & Cas.
Co. v. Nokes, 263 F.R.D. 518, 526 (N.D. Ind. 2009). The
motion “will be successful only where the movant
clearly establishes: (1) that the court committed a manifest
error of law or fact, or (2) that newly discovered evidence
precluded entry of judgment.” Cincinnati Life Ins.
Co. v. Beyrer, 722 F.3d 939, 954 (7th Cir. 2013)
(citation and quotation marks omitted). Relief pursuant to a
motion to reconsider is an “extraordinary remed[y]
reserved for the exceptional case.” Foster v.
DeLuca, 545 F.3d 582, 584 (7th Cir. 2008).
Plaintiffs first ask the Court to reconsider their request
for assistance in recruiting counsel due to their low income,
and because they are disabled individuals and
“appointment of counsel would qualify as a reasonable
accommodation.” (Dkt. 36 at 1.) Plaintiffs explain that
they have contacted Indiana Legal Services, Legal Aid Society
and that “many attorneys have ref[u]sed the Disabled
Plaintiffs counsel over the financial aspect.”
Id. The Court concedes that Plaintiffs have
satisfied the first prong that the Court must examine in
determining whether to assist in recruiting counsel -
When confronted with a request . . . for pro bono counsel,
the district court is to make the following inquiries: (1)
has the indigent plaintiff made a reasonable attempt to
obtain counsel or been effectively precluded from doing so;
and if so, (2) given the difficulty of the case, does the
plaintiff appear competent to litigate it himself?
Pruitt v. Mote, 503 F.3d 647, 654-655 (7th Cir.
the second prong, despite having a disability, the Plaintiffs
appear competent to litigate this matter themselves at this
early stage of the proceedings. This is not a case in which
the Court is unable to discern the claim. Rather, the Court
reviewed the Amended Complaint and identified a plausible
claim that was permitted to proceed in this action.
(See Dkt. 28.) As such, this is not a case in which
counsel is necessary, at this stage, in order to clarify or
amplify the claim. Beals v. Foster, 803 F.3d 356,
359 (7th Cir. 2015).
Plaintiffs' request for the Court's assistance with
recruiting counsel is not foreclosed permanently; rather,
their request is again denied as premature.
The defendants have not yet been served or had an opportunity
to respond. The Seventh Circuit has found that “until
the defendants respond to the complaint, the plaintiff's
need for assistance of counsel . . . cannot be gauged.”
Kadamovas v. Stevens, 706 F.3d 843, 845 (7th Cir.
Motion for ...