Griffin v. Gonzales et al

Filing 38

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)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 10 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 11 12 MATTHEW JAMES GRIFFIN, Plaintiff, 13 14 15 v. 1:15-cv-00577-AWI-EPG (PC) ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S ORAL MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF PRO BONO COUNSEL GONZALES, et al., Defendants. 16 17 18 19 Matthew Griffin (“Plaintiff”) is a prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this 20 civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On May 1, 2017, the Court held an initial 21 scheduling conference in this case. At the conference, Plaintiff made an oral motion for the 22 appointment of pro bono counsel. According to Plaintiff, he needs counsel appointed because of 23 issues related to his incarceration in North Carolina, and because he has a serious vision 24 impairment. 25 Plaintiff does not have a constitutional right to appointed counsel in this action, Rand v. 26 Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), withdrawn in part on other grounds, 154 F.3d 952 27 (9th Cir. 1998), and the Court cannot require an attorney to represent Plaintiff pursuant to 28 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(1), Mallard v. United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 1 1 490 U.S. 296, 298, 109 S.Ct. 1814, 1816 (1989). However, in certain exceptional circumstances 2 the Court may request the voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to section 1915(e)(1). Rand, 3 113 F.3d at 1525. 4 Without a reasonable method of securing and compensating counsel, the Court will seek 5 volunteer counsel only in the most serious and exceptional cases. In determining whether 6 Aexceptional circumstances exist, the district court must evaluate both the likelihood of success of 7 the merits [and] the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the 8 complexity of the legal issues involved.@ Id. (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). 9 The Court will not order appointment of pro bono counsel at this time. At this early stage in 10 the proceedings, the Court cannot make a determination that Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the 11 merits. Moreover, based on the record in this case, it appears that Plaintiff can adequately articulate 12 his claims and respond to court orders. 13 Plaintiff is advised that he is not precluded from renewing the motion for appointment of pro 14 bono counsel at a later stage of the proceedings. Additionally, the Court notes that if Plaintiff needs 15 any deadlines to be extended, he is free to ask the Court to extend those deadlines. 16 17 18 For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff’s oral motion for appointment of pro bono counsel is DENIED without prejudice. IT IS SO ORDERED. 19 20 Dated: May 1, 2017 /s/ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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