Rhey v. Ogbuehi et al

Filing 19

ORDER Denying Plaintiff's 16 Motion to Appoint Counsel signed by Magistrate Judge Stanley A. Boone on 10/17/2017. (Flores, E)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 CHOON RHEY, ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL Plaintiff, 12 13 Case No. 1:17-cv-00718-AWI-SAB (PC) v. [ECF No. 16] 14 15 INFEOMA OGBUEHI, et al., Defendants. 16 17 Plaintiff Choon Rhey is a state prisoner proceeding pro se in this civil rights matter 18 pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 19 Currently before the Court is Plaintiff’s motion seeking the appointment of counsel, filed 20 on October 16, 2017. (ECF No. 16.) 21 Plaintiff does not have a constitutional right to appointed counsel in this action, Rand v. 22 Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), and the Court cannot require an attorney to 23 represent Plaintiff pursuant to 28 U.S.C.§ 1915(e)(1), Mallard v. United States District Court for 24 the Southern District of Iowa, 490 U.S. 296, 298, 109 S. Ct. 1814, 1816 (1989). However, in 25 certain exceptional circumstances the Court may request the voluntary assistance of counsel 26 pursuant to section 1915(e)(1). Rand, 113 F.3d at 1525. Without a reasonable method of securing 27 and compensating counsel, the Court will seek volunteer counsel only in the most serious and 28 exceptional cases. In determining whether “exceptional circumstances exist, a district court must 1 1 evaluate both the likelihood of success of the merits [and] the ability of the [plaintiff] to 2 articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved.” Id. (internal 3 quotation marks and citations omitted). Plaintiff seeks the appointment of counsel because he is unable to afford counsel and has 4 5 been unable to hire an attorney on his own, the legal issues are complex, including that there are 6 medical issues and six defendants, and he has limited knowledge of the law and limited law 7 library access. Plaintiff also discusses that English is his second language, and that he does not 8 have an educational background in the United States. In the present case, the Court does not find that exceptional circumstances exist which 9 10 would warrant a request for the voluntary assistance of counsel. Circumstances common to most 11 prisoners, such as non-attorney status and limited law library access, do not establish exceptional 12 circumstances. Further, the record reflects that Plaintiff is adequately able to articulate his claim, 13 and the issues raised are not complex. Finally, at this early stage in the litigation, where Plaintiff 14 has not yet pleaded any cognizable claim, the Court does not find any likelihood of success on 15 the merits. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s motion for appointment of counsel is denied, without prejudice. 16 17 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. 19 Dated: October 17, 2017 UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 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?