Flowers #125290 v. Lawrence et al
ORDER denying Plaintiff's 15 Motion to Appoint Counsel. Signed by Magistrate Judge Eileen S Willett on 2/3/2015.(LFIG)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA
Eulandas J. Flowers,
No. CV-14-08184-PCT-JAT (ESW)
Sandra Lawrence, et al.,
Pending before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion for the Appointment of Counsel
(Doc. 15) and Memorandum of Law in Support of Plantiff’s [sic] Motion for
Appointment of Counsel (Doc. 16) filed January 20, 2015. Plaintiff asserts that his case
in complex, his ability to conduct discovery and research is limited by his incarceration
and segregation, credibility will be an issue regarding the witnesses, Plaintiff is indigent,
and Plaintiff is not trained in the law. Plaintiff additionally has filed a Declaration in
Support of Plantiff’s [sic] Motion for Appointment of Counsel (Doc. 17).
There is no constitutional right to the appointment of counsel in a civil case. See
Johnson v. U.S. Dep’t of Treasury, 939 F.2d 820, 824 (9th Cir. 1991); Ivey v. Bd of
Regents of the Univ. of Alaska, 673 F.2d 266, 269 (9th Cir. 1982). “However, a court
may under ‘exceptional circumstances’ appoint counsel for indigent civil litigants
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1).” Palmer v. Valdez, 560 F.3d 965, 970 (9th Cir.
2009) (quoting Agyeman v. Coors. Corp. of Am., 390 F.3d 1101, 1103 (9th Cir. 2004)).
“When determining whether ‘exceptional circumstances’ exist, a court must consider ‘the
likelihood of success on the merits as well as the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his
claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved’” Palmer, 560 F.3d
at 970 (quoting Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983)); see also Terrell v.
Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991).
dispositive and instead must be viewed together.” Palmer, 560 F3.d at 970 (citing
Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986)).
“Neither of these considerations is
Having considered both elements, Plaintiff has not shown that exceptional
circumstances are present that would require the appointment of counsel in this case.
Plaintiff has not demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits at this early stage of
the case, nor has he shown that he is experiencing difficulty in litigating this case because
of the complexity of the issues involved. Plaintiff’s filings with the Court, as well as the
instant motion, indicate that Plaintiff is capable of navigating his proceedings and
presenting arguments to the Court. See Wilborn, 789 F.2d at 1331 (“If all that was
required to establish successfully the complexity of the relevant issues was a
demonstration of the need for development of further facts, practically all cases would
involve complex legal issues.”). Plaintiff is in no different position that many pro se
prisoner litigants. Having failed to show that exceptional circumstances are present,
Plaintiff’s request for appointment of counsel will be denied. Accordingly,
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for the Appointment of Counsel (Doc.
15) is denied.
Dated this 3rd day of February, 2015.
Honorable Eileen S. Willett
United States Magistrate Judge
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