Civil Action No. RDB-18-1315
Plaintiff Ronald Bird ("Plaintiff" or "Bird") brings this lawsuit against Defendants Marine Terminals Corporation-East ("Marine Terminals") and International Longshoreman's Association - Local 333 ("Local 333") (collectively, "Defendants"), alleging that Defendants discriminated against him during his employment as a Longshoreman in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), as amended 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq. On January 31, 2019, this Court denied Defendants' motions to dismiss and a Scheduling Order was issued. (See ECF Nos. 24, 25, 26.)
On June 4, 2019, this Court granted Bird's counsel's motion to withdraw as attorneys in this case. (ECF No. 32.) On June 17, 2019, pursuant to this Court's Scheduling Order (ECF No. 26), a Status Report was filed, stating that discovery has been completed, Defendants intend to file dispositive motions by the July 15, 2019 deadline, and the parties intend to request that a scheduled August 28 settlement conference with Magistrate Judge Coulson be cancelled. (Status Report, ECF No. 35.)
Although nominally a "joint" status report, Defendants state that on June 13, 2019, a draft was mailed to Plaintiff but no response was received. (Status Report 1 n.1, ECF No. 35.)
A day later, on June 18, 2019, Bird filed a letter requesting this Court to appoint an attorney to represent him in this case. (ECF No. 36.) This Court deems this request as a motion to, appoint counsel and shall DENY the motion. It is well established that there is no constitutional right to counsel in civil cases. Marks v. Cook, 347 F. App'x 815, 917 (4th Cir. 2009). However, recognizing that Plaintiff is now acting pro se, this Court shall modify the Scheduling Order to provide additional time for Bird to file a dispositive motion and respond to Defendants' intended motions. Additionally, the scheduled settlement conference shall be removed from the calendar until after a ruling is issued on the dispositive motions.
This Court refers Plaintiff to this Court's website for information on obtaining legal assistance: http://www.mdd.uscourts.gov/finding-legal-assistance. --------
1. Motion to Appoint Counsel (ECF No. 36) is DENIED.
2. This Court's Scheduling Order (ECF No. 26) is amended as follows: the deadline for dispositive pretrial motions is August 15, 2019.
3. The settlement conference scheduled for August 28, 2019 is cancelled, to be rescheduled after this Court's ruling is issued on the planned dispositive motions, or at the parties' request.
4. The Clerk of the Court shall provide a copy of this Memorandum Order to all parties.
Dated: July 9, 2019.
Richard D. Bennett
United States District Judge