Caruso v. Johnson et al

Filing 47

ORDER DENYING Plaintiff's 46 Motion for Appointment of Pro Bono Counsel, signed by Magistrate Judge Erica P. Grosjean on 12/08/2017. (Martin-Gill, S)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 Plaintiff, 8 9 10 Case No. 1:15-cv-00780-EPG (PC) GINA CARUSO, v. OFFICER G. SOLORIO, et al., ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF PRO BONO COUNSEL (ECF NO. 46) Defendants. 11 12 13 14 Gina Caruso (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in 15 this civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On December 8, 2017, Plaintiff filed a 16 motion for appointment of pro bono counsel.1 (ECF No. 46). 17 According to Plaintiff, she needs counsel appointed because she has never filed a lawsuit 18 before, because she has a very limited education, because she is living in acute pain, because she 19 has limited movement in her neck, because she needs an attorney to conduct the deposition of 20 Correctional Officer Bates, 2 and because she needs an attorney to gain access to certain 21 documents.3 22 Plaintiff does not have a constitutional right to appointed counsel in this action, Rand v. 23 Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), withdrawn in part on other grounds, 154 F.3d 952 24 1 25 26 27 28 Plaintiff also formally requests “that Defendants have to pay [her] attorney fees at the end of this case.” However, as Plaintiff does not currently have an attorney, and as the Court is denying this motion, the Court will not address this issue at this time. 2 The Court notes that Plaintiff does not need an attorney to conduct the deposition. Plaintiff should refer to the scheduling order for information on how to request a deposition. (ECF No. 43, p. 3). 3 Plaintiff does not need an attorney to get documents relevant to this case. Plaintiff should review the scheduling order (ECF No. 43) for the discovery procedures in this case. 1 1 (9th Cir. 1998), and the Court cannot require an attorney to represent Plaintiff pursuant to 28 2 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(1). Mallard v. United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 3 490 U.S. 296, 298, 109 S.Ct. 1814, 1816 (1989). However, in certain exceptional circumstances 4 the Court may request the voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to section 1915(e)(1). Rand, 5 113 F.3d at 1525. 6 Without a reasonable method of securing and compensating counsel, the Court will seek 7 volunteer counsel only in the most serious and exceptional cases. 8 “exceptional circumstances exist, a district court must evaluate both the likelihood of success of 9 the merits [and] the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the 10 In determining whether complexity of the legal issues involved.” Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). 11 The Court will not order appointment of pro bono counsel at this time. The Court has 12 reviewed the record in this case, and at this time the Court is still unable to make a determination that 13 Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits of her claims. Moreover, based on the record in this case, it 14 appears that Plaintiff can adequately articulate her claims and respond to Court orders. 15 16 17 18 19 Plaintiff is advised that she is not precluded from renewing her motion for appointment of pro bono counsel at a later stage of the proceedings. For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff’s motion for appointment of pro bono counsel is DENIED without prejudice. IT IS SO ORDERED. 20 21 Dated: December 8, 2017 /s/ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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