Samuels v. Ahlin et al

Filing 52

ORDER DENYING Plaintiff's 51 Motion for Appointment of Pro Bono Counsel, signed by Magistrate Judge Erica P. Grosjean on 1-19/17. (Martin-Gill, S)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 10 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 11 12 DOUGAL SAMUELS, Plaintiff, 13 14 15 16 v. 1:10-cv-00585-EPG (PC) ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF PRO BONO COUNSEL (ECF NO. 51) PAM AHLIN, et al., Defendants. 17 18 19 Dougal Samuels (“Plaintiff”) is a civil detainee proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis 20 in this civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On January 17, 2017, Plaintiff filed 21 a request for appointment of pro bono counsel. (ECF No. 51). 22 According to Plaintiff, he needs counsel appointed because this case is complex, because 23 this case will require considerable discovery, because there will be conflicting testimony, and 24 because he is unable to investigate the facts of this case due to his detention. 25 Plaintiff does not have a constitutional right to appointed counsel in this action, Rand v. 26 Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), withdrawn in part on other grounds, 154 F.3d 952 27 (9th Cir. 1998), and the Court cannot require an attorney to represent Plaintiff pursuant to 28 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(1). Mallard v. United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 1 1 490 U.S. 296, 298, 109 S.Ct. 1814, 1816 (1989). However, in certain exceptional circumstances 2 the Court may request the voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to section 1915(e)(1). Rand, 3 113 F.3d at 1525. 4 Without a reasonable method of securing and compensating counsel, the Court will seek 5 volunteer counsel only in the most serious and exceptional cases. In determining whether 6 Aexceptional circumstances exist, the district court must evaluate both the likelihood of success of 7 the merits [and] the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the 8 complexity of the legal issues involved.@ Id. (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). 9 The Court will not order appointment of pro bono counsel at this time. At this early stage in 10 the proceedings, the Court cannot make a determination that Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the 11 merits. While at the screening stage Plaintiff’s complaint was found to state a claim (ECF Nos. 22, 12 24, & 41), there is currently a pending motion to dismiss (ECF No. 45). Moreover, based on the 13 record in this case, the Court finds that Plaintiff can adequately articulate his claims and respond to 14 court orders. Plaintiff is advised that he is not precluded from renewing the motion for appointment 15 of pro bono counsel at a later stage of the proceedings. 16 17 18 For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff’s motion for appointment of pro bono counsel is DENIED without prejudice. IT IS SO ORDERED. 19 20 Dated: January 19, 2017 /s/ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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