Kowalewska v. McHugh et al

Filing 4

ORDER by Judge Benjamin H Settle denying 2 Motion to Appoint Counsel.(TG)

1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 6 7 8 BARBARA B. KOWALEWSKA, 9 Plaintiff, 10 v. CASE NO. C13-5187 BHS ORDER DENYING MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL 11 JOHN M. MCHUGH, Secretary, Department of the Army, 12 Defendant. 13 14 This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Barbara B. Kowalewska’s 15 (“Kowalewska”) motion to appoint counsel (Dkt. 2). 16 On March 12, 2013, Kowalewska filed a complaint alleging breach of an Equal 17 Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) settlement agreement. Dkt. 1. On 18 March 13, 2013, Kowalewska filed a motion to appoint an attorney. Dkt. 2. 19 There is no right to have counsel appointed in cases brought under 42 U.S.C. 20 § 2000e. Although a court, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), can request counsel to represent a 21 party proceeding in forma pauperis, the court may do so only in exceptional 22 ORDER - 1 1 circumstances. Rand v. Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997). A finding of 2 exceptional circumstances requires an evaluation of both the likelihood of success on the 3 merits and the ability of the plaintiff to articulate his or her claims pro se in light of the 4 complexity of the legal issues involved. Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 5 (9th Cir. 1986). 6 In this case, the Court finds that exceptional circumstances do not exist to appoint 7 counsel. First, Kowalewska is able to articulate her claims and arguments. Second, the 8 issues do not appear to be that complex at this time. Third, the likelihood of success is 9 undercut by the fact that the EEOC rejected her breach claim on direct review and on 10 appeal. Therefore, the Court DENIES Kowalewska’s motion to appoint counsel. 11 Dated this 19th day of March, 2013. A 12 13 BENJAMIN H. SETTLE United States District Judge 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 ORDER - 2