Carter v. Voong, et al.
ORDER DENYING 9 Motion to Appoint Counsel signed by Magistrate Judge Erica P. Grosjean on 4/11/2017. (Jessen, A)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S REQUEST
FOR APPOINTMENT OF PRO BONO
(ECF NO. 9)
H. FLORES, et al.,
Dominic Carter (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se in this civil rights action
filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On April 10, 2017, Plaintiff filed a notice, which included,
among other things, a request for appointment of pro bono counsel. (ECF No. 9).
Plaintiff asks for “appointment of civil counsel, to assist Plaintiff with his claim.”
Plaintiff provides no explanation as to why he needs counsel.
Plaintiff does not have a constitutional right to appointed counsel in this action, Rand v.
Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), withdrawn in part on other grounds, 154 F.3d 952
(9th Cir. 1998), and the Court cannot require an attorney to represent Plaintiff pursuant to 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 pursuant to section 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
Aexceptional circumstances exist, the district court must evaluate both the likelihood of success of
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).
The Court will not order appointment of pro bono counsel at this time. At this early stage in
the proceedings, the Court cannot make a determination that Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the
merits. While at the screening stage the Court found that Plaintiff’s complaint stated a cognizable
claim (ECF No. 7), the assigned district judge has not yet ordered that the case proceed on that claim.
Moreover, based on the record in this case, the Court finds that Plaintiff can adequately articulate his
claims and respond to court orders. Plaintiff is advised that he is not precluded from renewing the
motion for appointment of pro bono counsel at a later stage of the proceedings.
For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff’s motion for appointment of pro bono counsel is DENIED
IT IS SO ORDERED.
April 11, 2017
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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