Gradford v. McDougall et al

Filing 13

ORDER DENYING 12 Motion to Appoint Counsel signed by Magistrate Judge Gary S. Austin on 7/27/2107. (Jessen, A)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 WILLIAM J. GRADFORD, 12 13 14 15 Plaintiff, v. McDOUGALL, et al., 1:17-cv-00201-DAD-GSA (PC) ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL (Document# 12) Defendants. 16 17 On July 19, 2017, plaintiff filed a motion seeking the appointment of counsel. Plaintiff 18 does not have a constitutional right to appointed counsel in this action, Rand v. Rowland, 113 19 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), and the court cannot require an attorney to represent plaintiff 20 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ' 1915(e)(1). Mallard v. United States District Court for the Southern 21 District of Iowa, 490 U.S. 296, 298, 109 S.Ct. 1814, 1816 (1989). However, in certain 22 exceptional circumstances the court may request the voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to 23 section 1915(e)(1). Rand, 113 F.3d at 1525. 24 Without a reasonable method of securing and compensating counsel, the court will seek 25 volunteer counsel only in the most serious and exceptional cases. In determining whether 26 Aexceptional circumstances exist, the district court must evaluate both the likelihood of success of 27 the merits [and] the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the 28 complexity of the legal issues involved.@ Id. (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). 1 1 In the present case, the court does not find the required exceptional circumstances. At this 2 early stage in the proceedings, the court cannot make a determination that plaintiff is likely to 3 succeed on the merits. The Complaint awaits the court’s screening required under 28 U.S.C. 4 1915. Thus, to date the court has not found any cognizable claims in plaintiff=s Complaint for 5 which to initiate service of process, and no other parties have yet appeared. Plaintiff asserts that 6 he has mental and physical handicaps, including limited learning skills, and he is unable to afford 7 an attorney. Plaintiff also asserts that he was told that the media has reported about his cases. 8 This does not make plaintiff’s case exceptional under the law. Plaintiff’s claims, based on 9 retaliation and interference with mail, do not appear complex. Moreover, a review of the record 10 in this case shows that plaintiff is responsive, adequately communicates, and is able to articulate 11 his claims. The court notes that plaintiff has filed other cases pro se and appears able to navigate 12 the federal court system. Therefore, plaintiff=s motion shall be denied without prejudice to 13 renewal of the motion at a later stage of the proceedings. 14 15 For the foregoing reasons, plaintiff=s motion for the appointment of counsel is HEREBY DENIED, without prejudice. 16 17 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: July 27, 2017 /s/ Gary S. Austin UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 19 20 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?