Gradford v. Stanislaus County Sheriffs Department et al

Filing 19

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)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 1:17-cv-00414 AWI GSA (PC) WILLIAM J. GRADFORD, Plaintiff, ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL v. (Document# 18) STANISLAUS COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT, et al., 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). 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 However, in certain Without a reasonable method of securing and compensating counsel, the court will seek 25 volunteer counsel only in the most serious and exceptional cases. 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 In determining whether 1 In the present case, the court does not find the required exceptional circumstances. 2 Plaintiff asserts that he is unable to afford a civil attorney, he suffers from permanent mental and 3 physical disabilities, he has other lawsuits pending at this court, and the newspapers have 4 published news about his complaints against deputies. 5 plaintiff’s case exceptional. At this early stage in the proceedings, the court cannot make a 6 determination that plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits. Plaintiff’s complaint awaits the 7 court’s screening required under 28 U.S.C. 1915. Thus, to date the court has not found any 8 cognizable claims in plaintiff=s complaint for which to initiate service of process, and no other 9 parties have yet appeared. The legal issues in this case B mail tampering and retaliation – do not 10 appear complex, and based on a review of the record in this case, plaintiff is able to adequately 11 articulate his claims. Therefore, plaintiff=s motion shall be denied without prejudice to renewal of 12 the motion at a later stage of the proceedings. 13 14 These circumstances do not make For the foregoing reasons, plaintiff=s motion for the appointment of counsel is HEREBY DENIED, without prejudice. 15 16 17 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: July 20, 2017 /s/ Gary S. Austin UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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