Eric Wheeler v. Aliceson et al
ORDER Denying 123 Motion to Appoint Counsel, signed by Magistrate Judge Michael J. Seng on 1/10/17. (Gonzalez, R)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
K. ACLISEON, et al.,
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR
APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
On December 30, 2016, plaintiff filed a motion seeking the appointment of
Plaintiff does not have a constitutional right to appointed counsel in this action,
Rand v. Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), 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
Aexceptional 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
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 stage in
the proceedings, the court cannot make a determination that plaintiff is likely to succeed
on the merits. Finally, the Court notes that the matter is set for a settlement conference
on March 2, 2017, and a trial confirmation hearing on May 11, 2017. Plaintiff’s handling
of the case to date reflects an ability to adequately articulate his claims and represent
himself in these proceedings. Plaintiff may renew his request for counsel at or following
the pretrial conference.
For the foregoing reasons, plaintiff=s motion for the appointment of counsel is
HEREBY DENIED, without prejudice.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
January 10, 2017
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Michael J. Seng
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