Goff v. Gamez et al

Filing 29

ORDER denying 27 Motion to Appoint Counsel signed by Magistrate Judge Erica P. Grosjean on 1/3/2017. (Lundstrom, T)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 10 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 11 12 THOMAS L. GOFF, Plaintiff, 13 14 v. 15 GAMEZ, et al., 16 Case No. 1:15-cv-00937-AWI-EPG (PC) ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF PRO BONO COUNSEL (ECF NO. 27) Defendants. 17 18 19 Thomas Goff (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with 20 this civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On December 29, 2017, Plaintiff filed 21 a motion for appointment of pro bono counsel. (ECF No. 27). 22 23 Plaintiff asks for appointment of counsel because “he has undergone physical and pychological [sic] doctors [sic] care for his injuries….” 24 Plaintiff does not have a constitutional right to appointed counsel in this action, Rand v. 25 Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), withdrawn in part on other grounds, 154 F.3d 952 26 (9th Cir. 1998), and the Court cannot require an attorney to represent Plaintiff pursuant to 28 27 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(1). Mallard v. United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 28 490 U.S. 296, 298, 109 S.Ct. 1814, 1816 (1989). However, in certain exceptional circumstances 1 1 the Court may request the voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to section 1915(e)(1). Rand, 2 113 F.3d at 1525. Without a reasonable method of securing and compensating counsel, the Court will seek 3 4 volunteer counsel only in the most serious and exceptional cases. In determining whether 5 “exceptional circumstances exist, a district court must evaluate both the likelihood of success of 6 the merits [and] the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the 7 complexity of the legal issues involved.” Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). 8 The Court will not order appointment of pro bono counsel at this time. The Court has 9 reviewed the record in this case, and at this time the Court cannot make a determination that Plaintiff 10 is likely to succeed on the merits of his claims (the First Amended Complaint is awaiting screening). 11 Moreover, based on the record in this case, it appears that Plaintiff can adequately articulate his 12 claims. 13 14 15 16 Plaintiff is advised that he is not precluded from renewing his motion for appointment of pro bono counsel at a later stage of the proceedings. For the foregoing reasons, IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion for appointment of pro bono counsel is DENIED without prejudice. 17 18 19 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: January 3, 2018 /s/ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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