Sullivan v. Biter et.al.
ORDER DENYING 80 Motion to Appoint Counsel signed by Magistrate Judge Erica P. Grosjean on 1/10/2017. (Sant Agata, S)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
MICHAEL J. SULLIVAN,
Case No. 1:12-cv-01662-AWI-EPG (PC)
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR
APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
(ECF No. 80)
BITER, et al.,
On January 6, 2017, plaintiff filed a motion seeking the appointment of counsel. 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, 109 S.Ct. 1814, 1816 (1989). However, 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.
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. The
mere fact that Plaintiff is unable to locate one of the defendants at this stage in the litigation does
not justify the appointment of counsel; Plaintiff will have adequate opportunities to identify any
missing defendants later in this litigation. 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 the appointment of counsel is DENIED
IT IS SO ORDERED.
January 10, 2017
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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?