Gradford v. Stanislaus County Sheriffs Department et al
ORDER DENYING Motion for Appointment of Counsel 18 , signed by Magistrate Judge Gary S. Austin on 7/20/17: Motion is DENIED without prejudice. (Hellings, J)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
1:17-cv-00414 AWI GSA (PC)
WILLIAM J. GRADFORD,
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR
APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
STANISLAUS COUNTY SHERIFF’S
DEPARTMENT, et al.,
On July 19, 2017, plaintiff filed a motion seeking the appointment of 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), 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).
exceptional circumstances the court may request the voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to
section 1915(e)(1). Rand, 113 F.3d at 1525.
However, in certain
Without a reasonable method of securing and compensating counsel, the court will seek
volunteer counsel only in the most serious and exceptional cases.
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).
In determining whether
In the present case, the court does not find the required exceptional circumstances.
Plaintiff asserts that he is unable to afford a civil attorney, he suffers from permanent mental and
physical disabilities, he has other lawsuits pending at this court, and the newspapers have
published news about his complaints against deputies.
plaintiff’s case exceptional. At this early stage in the proceedings, the court cannot make a
determination that plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits. Plaintiff’s complaint awaits the
court’s screening required under 28 U.S.C. 1915. Thus, to date the court has not found any
cognizable claims in plaintiff=s complaint for which to initiate service of process, and no other
parties have yet appeared. The legal issues in this case B mail tampering and retaliation – do not
appear complex, and based on a review of the record in this case, plaintiff is able to adequately
articulate his claims. Therefore, plaintiff=s motion shall be denied without prejudice to renewal of
the motion at a later stage of the proceedings.
These circumstances do not make
For the foregoing reasons, plaintiff=s motion for the appointment of counsel is HEREBY
DENIED, without prejudice.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
July 20, 2017
/s/ Gary S. Austin
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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