Gonzales v. Cortez et al
ORDER DENYING 52 Motion to Appoint Counsel signed by Magistrate Judge Michael J. Seng on 8/7/2014. (Sant Agata, S)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
CASE NO. 1:10-cv-00393-LJO-MJS
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION
FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
(ECF NO. 52)
R. CORTEZ, et al.,
Plaintiff Michael Gonzales is a state prisoner proceeding pro se in this civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On July 14, 2014, Plaintiff filed a motion seeking
the appointment of counsel. (ECF No. 52.)
Plaintiff does not have a constitutional right to appointed counsel in this action,
Rand v. Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997) (partially overruled en banc on
other grounds, 154 F.3d 952, 954 n. 1 (9th Cir. 1998)), and the Court cannot require an
attorney to represent Plaintiff pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). Mallard v. United
States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 490 U.S. 296, 298 (1989).
In certain exceptional circumstances the Court may request the voluntary
assistance of counsel pursuant to section 1915(e)(1).
Rand, 113 F.3d at 1525.
However, without a reasonable method of securing and compensating counsel, the
Court will seek volunteer counsel only in the most serious and exceptional cases. In
determining whether “exceptional circumstances exist, the district court must evaluate
both the likelihood of success of the merits [and] the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate
his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved.” Id. (Internal
quotation marks and citations omitted.)
In the present case, the Court does not find the required exceptional
circumstances. Even if it is assumed that Plaintiff is not well versed in the law and that
he has made serious allegations which, if proved, would entitle him to relief, his case is
not exceptional. This Court is faced with similar cases almost daily. Further, at this early
stage in the proceedings, the Court cannot make a determination that Plaintiff is likely to
succeed on the merits, and based on a review of the record in this case, the Court does
not find that Plaintiff cannot adequately articulate his claims. Id.
For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff’s Motion for Appointment of Counsel (ECF No.
52) is DENIED, without prejudice.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
August 7, 2014
Michael J. Seng
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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