United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
SUNDARI K. PRASAD, Plaintiff,
DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC., Defendant.
Hannah Lauck United States District Judge
K. Prasad, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se,
filed this civil rights action. By Memorandum Opinion and
Order entered on October 3, 2017, the Court dismissed the
action because Prasad's claims fell well outside the
applicable statute of limitations. (See ECF Nos. 15, 16.) The
matter is now before the Court on Prasad's Motion for
Reconsideration of that dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 59(e) ("Rule 59(e) Motion, " ECF No.
See MLC Auto., LLC v. Town of S. Pines, 532 F.3d
269, 277-78 (4th Cir. 2008) (stating that filings made within
twenty-eight days after the entry of judgment are construed
as Rule 59(e) motions (citing Dove v. CODESCO, 569
F.2d 807, 809 (4th Cir. 1978))).
of a judgment after its entry is an extraordinary remedy
which should be used sparingly." Pac. Ins. Co. v.
Am. Nat'l Fire Ins. Co., 148 F.3d 396, 403
(4th Cir. 1998) (citation omitted) (internal quotation marks
omitted). The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth
Circuit recognizes three grounds for relief under Rule 59(e):
"(1) to accommodate an intervening change in controlling
law; (2) to account for new evidence not available at trial;
or (3) to correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest
injustice." Hutchinson v. Staton, 994 F.2d
1076, 1081 (4th Cir. 1993) (citing Weyerhaeuser Corp. v.
Koppers Co., 771 F.Supp. 1406, 1419 (D. Md. 1991);
Atkins v. Marathon LeTourneau Co., 130 F.R.D. 625,
626 (S.D.Miss. 1990)).
does not explicitly address any of the above recognized
grounds for relief in her Rule 59(e) Motion. Instead, Prasad
submits various sections of the Virginia and U.S. Codes, and
information about 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims. (Rule 59(e)
Mot. at 2-6.) Prasad then complains of her psychological
condition, her repeated requests for appointment of counsel,
and objects to the fact that her civil action was dismissed
as frivolous. (Id. at 6-7.) The Court construes Prasad
to argue that the Court should grant her Rule 59(e) Motion
"to correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest
injustice, " Hutchinson, 994 F.2d at 1081,
because the Court denied her request for appointment of
counsel and dismissed her Complaint.
civil case, counsel should only be appointed in exceptional
circumstances. Cook v. Bounds, 518 F.2d 779, 780
(4th Cir. 1975) (citation omitted). "The existence of
exceptional circumstances turns 'on the quality of two
basic factors-the type and complexity of the case, and the
abilities of the individuals bringing it.'"
Berry v. Gutierrez, 587 F.Supp.2d 717,
122-23 (E.D. Va. 2008) (quoting Whisenant v.
Yuam, 739 F.2d 160, 163 (4th Cir. 1984)),
aff'dsuh nom. Berry v. Locke, 331 Fed.Appx. 237
(4th Cir. 2009). "One circumstance in which the court
should appoint counsel occurs when it is obvious that a pro
se litigant has a colorable claim but lacks the capacity to
present it." Id. at 723 (citing Waller v.
Butkovich, 584 F.Supp. 909, 947 (M.D. N.C. 1984)).
However, before a Court may appoint counsel, "it must
first appear that the claim has some merit in fact and
law." Spears v. United Slates, 266 F.Supp. 22,
25-26 (S.D. W.Va. 1967) (citations omitted).
Prasad's case, the Court dismissed her 42 U.S.C. §
1983 Complaint as legally frivolous because the applicable
statute of limitations for her claims expired nearly a full
ten years prior to the filing of the action. (See
ECF No, 15, at 6, ) Since Prasad's Complaint was
obviously barred by the statute of limitations, she did not
have a meritorious claim thai would warrant the appointment
of counsel. See United States v. $27, 000.00, More or
Less, in U.S. Currency, 865 F.Supp. 339, 341 (S.D. W.Va.
1994) (concluding plaintiff was not entitled to the
appointment of counsel because he made "no showing that
his claim .. . ha[d] any merit")- Therefore, the Court
discerns no clear error of law or manifest injustice in its
denial of Prasad's request for counsel. nor in its
dismissal of Prasad's Complaint. Accordingly. Plaintiffs
Rule 59(e) Motion (ECF No. 19) will be DENIED.
appropriate Order shall issue.
 The Court employs the pagination
assigned to Prasad's Rule 59(e) Motion by the CM/ECF
 Beginning on page eight of the Rule
59(e) Motion, Prasad has attached pages with miscellaneous
allegations that do not appear to follow logically the
information provided on the previous pages. (Rule 59(e) Mot.
8-9.) These later pages outline her medical history and
appear to raise new claims against the Hampton Roads Regional
Jail and someone named "Hamilton Hendrix." (See
Id. at 8-9.) To the extent that Prasad wishes to raise
claims pertaining to her medical history and against Hampton
Roads Regional Jail and Hamilton Hendrix, she is free to file
a new civil action ...