Arias v. Johal et al
ORDER DENYING 30 Motion to Appoint Counsel signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe on 1/25/2017. (Jessen, A)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
Case No. 1:14-cv-00764-LJO-BAM (PC)
MARIO MARTINEZ ARIAS,
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR
APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
(ECF No. 30)
A. K. JOHAL, et al.,
Plaintiff Mario Martinez Arias (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis in this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action proceeds on
Plaintiff’s claim for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth
Amendment against Defendant Dr. A. K. Johal.
On January 23, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion seeking the appointment of counsel. (ECF
No. 30.) Plaintiff asserts that he is unable to afford counsel, his imprisonment limits his ability to
litigate his case, the issues involved are complex and will require significant research, he has
limited law library access, and that he has limited knowledge of the law. (Id.) Plaintiff also asserts
that a trial in this case would involve conflicting testimony, and that having counsel would
facilitate Plaintiff’s ability to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. (Id.) Plaintiff further
asserts that he contacted a lawyer who denied Plaintiff’s request for representation. (Id.)
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 under 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). However, in certain exceptional
circumstances, the Court may request the voluntary assistance of counsel under 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
Aexceptional circumstances exist, the 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.@ Rand, 113 F.3d at 1525. (internal quotation marks and
In the present case, the Court does not find the required exceptional circumstances.
Plaintiff’s indigence, limited knowledge of the law, and limitations imposed by incarceration,
plus the complexity of the case, do not make his case exceptional. This Court is faced with similar
cases almost daily. Furthermore, at this early stage in the proceedings, the Court cannot determine
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.1 Id. However, if
Plaintiff requires additional time to comply with relevant deadlines and court orders due to his
circumstances, he may seek appropriate extensions of time.
Accordingly, Plaintiff=s motion for the appointment of counsel is HEREBY DENIED,
IT IS SO ORDERED.
January 25, 2017
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Plaintiff successfully appealed the Court’s initial dismissal of this action, (ECF No. 27), which the Court finds to be
persuasive evidence that Plaintiff can adequately articulate his claims.
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