Allen v. Stanislaus County et al

Filing 86

ORDER DENYING, without Prejudice, Plaintiff's Third 85 Motion to Appoint Counsel signed by Magistrate Judge Stanley A. Boone on 5/16/2017. (Sant Agata, S)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 COLUMBUS ALLEN, JR. 12 Plaintiff, 13 14 v. STANISLAUS COUNTY, et al., 15 Defendants. 16 ORDER DENYING, WITHOUT PREJUDICE, PLAINTIFF’S THIRD MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL [ECF No. 85] action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently before the Court is Plaintiff’s third motion for appointment of counsel, filed May 15, 19 20 Case No.: 1:13-cv-00012-DAD-SAB (PC) Plaintiff Columbus Allen, Jr. is appearing pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights 17 18 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) 2017. Plaintiff requests counsel to conduct pretrial and trial preparation. 21 Plaintiff does not have a constitutional right to appointed counsel in this action, Rand v. 22 Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), and the court cannot require any attorney to represent 23 plaintiff pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). Mallard v. United States District Court for the Southern 24 District of Iowa, 490 U.S. 296, 298 (1989). However, in certain exceptional circumstances the court 25 may request the voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to section 1915(e)(1). Rand, 113 F.3d at 26 1525. 27 /// 28 /// 1 Without a reasonable method of securing and compensating counsel, the court will seek 1 2 volunteer counsel only in the most serious and exceptional cases. In determining whether 3 “exceptional circumstances exist, the district court must evaluate both the likelihood of success on the 4 merits [and] the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the 5 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 6 7 is assumed that Plaintiff is not well versed in the law and that he has made serious allegations which, if 8 proved, would entitle him to relief, his case is not exceptional. Circumstances common to most 9 prisoners, such as lack of legal education and limited law library access, do not establish exceptional 10 circumstances that would warrant a request for voluntary assistance of counsel. While a pro se litigant 11 may be better served with the assistance of counsel, so long as a pro se litigant, such as Plaintiff in this 12 instance, is able to “articulate his claims against the relative complexity of the matter,” the 13 “exceptional circumstances” which might require the appointment of counsel do not exist. Rand v. 14 Rowland, 113 F.3d at 1525 (finding no abuse of discretion under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) when district 15 court denied appointment of counsel despite fact that pro se prisoner “may well have fared better- 16 particularly in the realm of discovery and the securing of expert testimony.”) Based on the present 17 record, the Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to meet his burden of demonstrating extraordinary 18 circumstances warranting the appointment of counsel, and Plaintiff’s third motion for the appointment 19 of counsel is DENIED, without prejudice. 20 21 22 IT IS SO ORDERED. 23 Dated: 24 May 16, 2017 UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 25 26 27 28 2

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