MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff Richard Otto Hansen, a non-prisoner, filed a Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis ("IFP") (filing no. 3), a Motion for Appointment of Counsel (filing no. 4), and a Motion for Service of Process (filing no. 5). Upon review of Plaintiff's IFP motion, the court finds that Plaintiff is financially eligible to proceed in forma pauperis.
The court is required to review in forma pauperis complaints to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). The court must dismiss a complaint or any portion thereof that states a frivolous or malicious claim, that fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). This matter may not proceed to service of process unless so ordered by the court after conducting this initial review. Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion for service of process (filing no. 5) is denied.
Plaintiff also requests that the court appoint him "competent and effective counsel to assist him" in this action. (Filing No. 4.) The court cannot routinely appoint counsel in civil cases. In Davis v. Scott, 94 F.3d 444, 447 (8th Cir. 1996), the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals explained that "[i]ndigent civil litigants do not have a constitutional or statutory right to appointed counsel." Trial courts have "broad discretion to decide whether both the plaintiff and the court will benefit from the appointment of counsel, taking into account the factual and legal complexity of the case, the presence or absence of conflicting testimony, and the plaintiff's ability to investigate the facts and present his claim." Id. Having considered these factors, the request for the appointment of counsel will be denied at this time without prejudice to reassertion.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis (filing no. 3) is granted, and the Complaint shall be filed without payment of fees.
2. Plaintiff's Motion for Appointment of Counsel (filing no. 4) is denied without prejudice to reassertion.
3. Plaintiff's Motion for Service of Process (filing no. 5) is denied.
4. Plaintiff is advised that the next step in his case will be for the court to conduct an initial review of his claims to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). The court will conduct this initial review in its normal course of business.
Dated this 13th day of February, 2020.
BY THE COURT:
Richard G. Kopf
Senior United States District Judge