Discretionary appointment of counsel

Legislation, All Basic Human Needs

25 U.S.C. 175 states, "In all States and Territories where there are reservations or allotted Indians the United States District Attorney [United States Attorney] shall represent them in all suits at law and in equity."  However, in an oft-quoted opinion, the Ninth Circuit stated that "We think 25 U.S.C.A. § 175 is not mandatory and that its purpose is no more than to insure the Indians adequate representation in suits to which they might be parties."  Siniscal v. United States, 208 F.2d 406, 410 (9th Cir.1953).  

In Siniscal, as well as other cases that have subsequently cited it, the individual reuqesting counsel was already represented by counsel.  however, in Robinson v. New Jersey Mercer County Vicinage-Family Div., 514 Fed. Appx. 146, 151 (3d Cir. 2013), the court relied on Siniscal for the notion that appointment of counsel under the statute is discretionary, and added that "the discretionary duty of § 175 [does not] override the general test for appointment of counsel under the in forma pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1)."

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: yes