Stewart v. Holland et al
ORDER DENYING Plaintiff's Second 70 Motion for Order to Receive Unimpeded Access to Law Library or Appointment of Counsel signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe on 7/25/2018. (Sant Agata, S)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
Case No.: 1:14-cv-00322-DAD-BAM (PC)
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S SECOND
MOTION FOR ORDER TO RECEIVE
UNIMPEDED ACCESS TO LAW LIBRARY
OR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
K. HOLLAND, et al.,
Plaintiff Tracy Stewart is a state prisoner who is currently proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Currently before the Court is Plaintiff’s second motion for an order giving uninterrupted
access to the law library, or granting him the appointment of counsel. (Doc. 70.) Plaintiff asserts
that he has limited law library access of once or twice per week, making it difficult to meet
As Plaintiff was previously informed, he does not have a constitutional right to appointed
counsel in this action. Rand v. Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), rev’d in part on
other grounds, 154 F.3d 952, 954 n.1 (9th Cir. 1998). The court cannot require an attorney to
represent plaintiff pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(1). Mallard v. U.S. Dist. Court for the S. Dist.
of Iowa, 490 U.S. 296, 298 (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, a district court must evaluate both the likelihood of success on
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 this case, the Court does not find exceptional circumstances warranting the search for
volunteer counsel. Based on the limited record available, Plaintiff has shown that he can
adequately articulate his claim and arguments. Also, as previously discussed, Plaintiff has been
able to submit filings within the relevant deadlines thus far. (See, e.g., Docs. 62, 63.) Thus, it
appears that Plaintiff can adequately litigate his case despite limited law library access.
Furthermore, at this stage in the proceedings, the Court cannot determine that Plaintiff is likely to
succeed on the merits.
Nor does the Court find it appropriate to issue any order regarding law library access.
Plaintiff is unspecific about any deadline that he is having trouble meeting due to law library
closures or limitations on access. As previously indicated, he is not precluded from filing a
specific motion for an extension of time, submitted before the deadline at issue, and supported by
Accordingly, Plaintiff’s second motion for unimpeded access to law library or the
appointment of counsel, (Doc. 70), is HEREBY DENIED, without prejudice.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
July 25, 2018
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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