Blacher v. Johnson et al

Filing 125

ORDER DENYING Plaintiff's 123 Motion for Appoint of Pro Bono Counsel, signed by Magistrate Judge Erica P. Grosjean on 09/5/17. (Martin-Gill, S)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 10 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 11 12 MARLON BLACHER, Plaintiff, 13 14 15 16 v. Case No. 1:12-cv-01159-EPG (PC) ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF PRO BONO COUNSEL (ECF NO. 123) S. JOHNSON, Defendant. 17 18 19 Marlon Blacher (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in 20 this civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On September 1, 2017, Plaintiff filed 21 what the Court construes as a motion for appointment of pro bono counsel. (ECF No. 123). 22 Plaintiff asks for appointment of counsel because he has no formal training in the law, 23 because he has limited access to the “plainly inadequate law library,” because he is unable to 24 perform an adequate pre-trial investigation, because he is unable to procure and interview 25 witnesses, and because he is unable to afford counsel. 26 Plaintiff does not have a constitutional right to appointed counsel in this action, Rand v. 27 Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), withdrawn in part on other grounds, 154 F.3d 952 28 (9th Cir. 1998), and the Court cannot require an attorney to represent Plaintiff pursuant to 28 1 1 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(1). Mallard v. United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 2 490 U.S. 296, 298, 109 S.Ct. 1814, 1816 (1989). However, in certain exceptional circumstances 3 the Court may request the voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to section 1915(e)(1). Rand, 4 113 F.3d at 1525. 5 Without a reasonable method of securing and compensating counsel, the Court will seek 6 volunteer counsel only in the most serious and exceptional cases. In determining whether 7 Aexceptional circumstances exist, the district court must evaluate both the likelihood of success of 8 the merits [and] the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the 9 complexity of the legal issues involved.@ Id. (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). 10 The Court will not order appointment of pro bono counsel at this time. Plaintiff’s motion 11 focuses on his need for counsel because he is unable to adequate prepare for trial. However, there is a 12 fully briefed dispositive motion awaiting ruling by the Court (ECF No. 106). Therefore, there may 13 not be a trial in this case. 14 Additionally, the Court has reviewed the record in this case, and at this time the Court cannot 15 make a determination that Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits of his claim. Moreover, based on 16 the record, it appears that Plaintiff can adequately articulate his claim and respond to Court orders. 17 18 19 20 Plaintiff is advised that he is not precluded from renewing his motion for appointment of pro bono counsel at a later stage of the proceedings. For the foregoing reasons, IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion for appointment of pro bono counsel is DENIED without prejudice. 21 22 23 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: September 5, 2017 /s/ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 24 25 26 27 28 2

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?