Goff v. Gamez et al

Filing 41

ORDER denying Plaintiff's Motion for Appointment of Pro Bono Counsel, without prejudice 40 signed by Magistrate Judge Erica P. Grosjean on 8/2/2018. (Lundstrom, T)

Download PDF
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, WITHOUT PREJUDICE (ECF NO. 40) Defendants. 17 18 19 20 Thomas Goff (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with this civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 21 On July 27, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion for appointment of pro bono counsel. (ECF No. 22 40). Plaintiff asks for appointment of counsel because the physical and psychological injuries he 23 suffered have caused him to be unable to proceed with this case, and so that he “may proceed 24 within the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure that is not currently available to Plaintiff.” (Id.). 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a constitutional right to appointed counsel in this action, Rand v. 26 Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), withdrawn in part on other grounds, 154 F.3d 952 27 (9th Cir. 1998), and the Court cannot require an attorney to represent Plaintiff pursuant to 28 28 1 1 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). Mallard v. United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 2 490 U.S. 296, 298, 109 S.Ct. 1814, 1816 (1989). However, in certain exceptional circumstances 3 the Court may request the voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to section 1915(e)(1). Rand, 4 113 F.3d at 1525. 5 Without a reasonable method of securing and compensating counsel, the Court will seek 6 volunteer counsel only in the most serious and exceptional cases. In determining whether 7 “exceptional circumstances exist, a district court must evaluate both the likelihood of success of 8 the merits [and] the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the 9 complexity of the legal issues involved.” Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). 10 The Court will not order appointment of pro bono counsel at this time. The Court has 11 reviewed the record in this case, and at this time the Court is unable to make a determination that 12 Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits of his claims. Moreover, it appears that Plaintiff can 13 adequately articulate his claims. 14 15 16 17 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. 18 19 20 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: August 2, 2018 /s/ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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?