Griffin v. Gonzales et al
ORDER DENYING Plaintiff's Oral Motion for Appointment of Pro Bono Counsel signed by Magistrate Judge Erica P. Grosjean on 5/1/2017. (Sant Agata, S)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
MATTHEW JAMES GRIFFIN,
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S ORAL
MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF PRO
GONZALES, et al.,
Matthew Griffin (“Plaintiff”) is a prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this
civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On May 1, 2017, the Court held an initial
scheduling conference in this case. At the conference, Plaintiff made an oral motion for the
appointment of pro bono counsel. According to Plaintiff, he needs counsel appointed because of
issues related to his incarceration in North Carolina, and because he has a serious vision
Plaintiff does not have a constitutional right to appointed counsel in this action, Rand v.
Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), withdrawn in part on other grounds, 154 F.3d 952
(9th Cir. 1998), 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
Aexceptional 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).
The Court will not order appointment of pro bono counsel at this time. At this early stage in
the proceedings, the Court cannot make a determination that Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the
merits. Moreover, based on the record in this case, it appears that Plaintiff can adequately articulate
his claims and respond to court orders.
Plaintiff is advised that he is not precluded from renewing the motion for appointment of pro
bono counsel at a later stage of the proceedings. Additionally, the Court notes that if Plaintiff needs
any deadlines to be extended, he is free to ask the Court to extend those deadlines.
For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff’s oral motion for appointment of pro bono counsel is
DENIED without prejudice.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
May 1, 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?