Jones v. Speidell et al
ORDER DENYING 47 Motion to Appoint Counsel signed by Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston on 10/09/2019. (Flores, E)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
CHARLES B. JONES,
Case No.: 1:16-cv-01335-DAD-JLT (PC)
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR
APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
R. SPEIDELL, et al.,
On September 25, 2019, Plaintiff Charles B. Jones filed a motion seeking the appointment
of counsel. (Doc. 47.) Plaintiffs do not have a constitutional right to appointed counsel in section
1983 actions, Rand v. Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), and the Court cannot
require an attorney to represent plaintiffs under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). See Mallard v. U.S. Dist.
Court, 490 U.S. 296, 304-05 (1989). However, in “exceptional circumstances,” the Court may
request the voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to section 1915(e)(1). Rand, 113 F.3d at
The Court will seek volunteer counsel only in extraordinary cases. In determining
whether “exceptional circumstances exist, a district court must evaluate both the likelihood of
success on the merits [and] the ability of the [petitioner] 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. Even
if it is assumed that Plaintiff is not well versed in the law and that he has made serious allegations
that, if proven, would entitle him to relief, his case is not extraordinary. The Court is faced with
similar cases almost daily. In addition, at this early stage in the proceedings, the Court cannot
determine whether Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits; and, based on a review of the
records in this case, the Court does not find that Plaintiff cannot adequately articulate his claims.
In response to Plaintiff’s concern that recurring health problems may hinder his ability to
reply to orders of the Court in a timely manner, the Court notes that Plaintiff may seek reasonable
extensions of time as necessary to respond to Court orders. The Court routinely grants extensions
of time upon showings of good cause, which may include a health issue that hinders a party’s
ability to timely respond to an order.
For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff’s motion for the appointment of counsel is DENIED
IT IS SO ORDERED.
October 9, 2019
/s/ Jennifer L. Thurston
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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