Flowers #125290 v. Lawrence et al

Filing 18

ORDER denying Plaintiff's 15 Motion to Appoint Counsel. Signed by Magistrate Judge Eileen S Willett on 2/3/2015.(LFIG)

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1 WO 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 Eulandas J. Flowers, No. CV-14-08184-PCT-JAT (ESW) Plaintiff, 10 11 v. 12 ORDER Sandra Lawrence, et al., 13 Defendants. 14 Pending before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion for the Appointment of Counsel 15 (Doc. 15) and Memorandum of Law in Support of Plantiff’s [sic] Motion for 16 Appointment of Counsel (Doc. 16) filed January 20, 2015. Plaintiff asserts that his case 17 in complex, his ability to conduct discovery and research is limited by his incarceration 18 and segregation, credibility will be an issue regarding the witnesses, Plaintiff is indigent, 19 and Plaintiff is not trained in the law. Plaintiff additionally has filed a Declaration in 20 Support of Plantiff’s [sic] Motion for Appointment of Counsel (Doc. 17). 21 There is no constitutional right to the appointment of counsel in a civil case. See 22 Johnson v. U.S. Dep’t of Treasury, 939 F.2d 820, 824 (9th Cir. 1991); Ivey v. Bd of 23 Regents of the Univ. of Alaska, 673 F.2d 266, 269 (9th Cir. 1982). “However, a court 24 may under ‘exceptional circumstances’ appoint counsel for indigent civil litigants 25 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1).” Palmer v. Valdez, 560 F.3d 965, 970 (9th Cir. 26 2009) (quoting Agyeman v. Coors. Corp. of Am., 390 F.3d 1101, 1103 (9th Cir. 2004)). 27 “When determining whether ‘exceptional circumstances’ exist, a court must consider ‘the 28 likelihood of success on the merits as well as the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his 1 claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved’” Palmer, 560 F.3d 2 at 970 (quoting Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983)); see also Terrell v. 3 Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991). 4 dispositive and instead must be viewed together.” Palmer, 560 F3.d at 970 (citing 5 Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986)). “Neither of these considerations is 6 Having considered both elements, Plaintiff has not shown that exceptional 7 circumstances are present that would require the appointment of counsel in this case. 8 Plaintiff has not demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits at this early stage of 9 the case, nor has he shown that he is experiencing difficulty in litigating this case because 10 of the complexity of the issues involved. Plaintiff’s filings with the Court, as well as the 11 instant motion, indicate that Plaintiff is capable of navigating his proceedings and 12 presenting arguments to the Court. See Wilborn, 789 F.2d at 1331 (“If all that was 13 required to establish successfully the complexity of the relevant issues was a 14 demonstration of the need for development of further facts, practically all cases would 15 involve complex legal issues.”). Plaintiff is in no different position that many pro se 16 prisoner litigants. Having failed to show that exceptional circumstances are present, 17 Plaintiff’s request for appointment of counsel will be denied. Accordingly, 18 19 20 IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for the Appointment of Counsel (Doc. 15) is denied. Dated this 3rd day of February, 2015. 21 22 23 Honorable Eileen S. Willett United States Magistrate Judge 24 25 26 27 28 -2-

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