King v. Holland et al
ORDER Denying 19 Motion to Appoint Counsel signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe on 12/28/2016. (Flores, E)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
Case No. 1:15-cv-01885-BAM (PC)
S. HOLLAND, et al.,
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION
FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
(ECF No. 19)
Plaintiff Rashad King (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis in this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action currently proceeds on
Plaintiff’s Eighth Amendment claims against Defendants Duncan, Holland, Solis and Tingley.
On December 27, 2016, Plaintiff filed the instant motion for appointment of counsel.
(ECF No. 19.) Plaintiff asserts that he is unable to afford counsel, the issues involved in this case
are complex, he has contacted numerous attorneys but none have responded, and he has limited
knowledge of the law. Plaintiff argues that he is entitled to counsel for several reasons, including
his lack of education and legal training, this case involves claims for excessive force and sexual
assault, limited access to the law library, the demand for a jury trial, the need for extensive
discovery, and the conflicting testimonies of the parties.
As Plaintiff was previously informed, he does not have a constitutional right to appointed
counsel in this action, Rand v. Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), and the Court
cannot require an attorney to represent Plaintiff under 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 under 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 “exceptional circumstances exist, the
district court must evaluate both the likelihood of success on 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).
In the present case, the Court does not find the required exceptional circumstances.
Plaintiff’s indigent circumstances, the complexity of the case, and Plaintiff’s limited knowledge
of the law do not make his case exceptional. This Court is faced with similar cases, particularly
those involving allegations of excessive force, almost daily. Moreover, at this early stage in the
proceedings, the Court cannot make a determination that Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the
merits, and upon reviewing the record, the Court does not find that Plaintiff cannot adequately
articulate his claims. Rand, 113 F.3d at 1525. However, if Plaintiff requires additional time to
comply with relevant deadlines and court orders due to his limited education, complexities of the
case or other circumstances, then he may seek appropriate extensions of time.
Accordingly, Plaintiff’s motion for appointment of counsel is HEREBY DENIED,
IT IS SO ORDERED.
December 28, 2016
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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