King v. Villegas et al
ORDER Denying Plaintiff's 8 Motion to Appoint Counsel signed by Magistrate Judge Erica P. Grosjean on 10/30/2017. (Flores, E)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
JERRY LEE KING,
R. VILLEGAS, et al.,
Case No. 1:17-cv-00676-EPG (PC)
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION
FOR APPOINTMENT OF PRO BONO
(ECF NO. 8)
Jerry King (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this
civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On October 27, 2017, Plaintiff filed a
motion for appointment of pro bono counsel. (ECF No. 8).
Plaintiff asks for appointment of counsel because he is unable to afford counsel, because
of the complexity of his case, because he has very limited access to the law library, because he
has no ability to investigate the facts of his case, because a trial in this case will likely involve
conflicting testimony, and because Plaintiff has no legal education.
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Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), withdrawn in part on other grounds, 154 F.3d 952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
“exceptional circumstances exist, a 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 citation omitted).
The Court will not order appointment of pro bono counsel at this time. The Court has
reviewed the record in this case, and at this time the Court cannot make a determination that Plaintiff
is likely to succeed on the merits of his claims (the complaint is awaiting screening). Moreover,
based on the complaint, it appears that Plaintiff can adequately articulate his claims.
Plaintiff is advised that he is not precluded from renewing his motion for appointment of pro
bono counsel at a later stage of the proceedings.
For the foregoing reasons, IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion for appointment of pro
bono counsel is DENIED without prejudice.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
October 30, 2017
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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