Williams v. Alcala et al

Filing 63

ORDER denying 62 Motion to Appoint Counsel signed by Magistrate Judge Stanley A. Boone on 9/17/2018. (Lundstrom, T)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 ROBERT C. WILLIAMS, 12 Plaintiff, 13 14 v. GERARDO ALCALA, et al., 15 Defendants. 16 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S SECOND MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL, WITHOUT PREJUDICE [ECF No. 62] pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently before the Court is Plaintiff’s second motion for appointment of counsel, filed 19 20 Case No. 1:17-cv-00916-DAD-SAB (PC) Plaintiff Robert C. Williams is appearing pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action 17 18 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) September 13, 2018. As Plaintiff is aware, he does not have a constitutional right to appointed counsel in this action, 21 22 Rand v. Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), and the court cannot require any attorney to 23 represent plaintiff pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). Mallard v. United States District Court for the 24 Southern District of Iowa, 490 U.S. 296, 298 (1989). However, in certain exceptional circumstances 25 the court may request the voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to section 1915(e)(1). Rand, 113 26 F.3d at 1525. 27 /// 28 /// 1 Without a reasonable method of securing and compensating counsel, the court will seek 1 2 volunteer counsel only in the most serious and exceptional cases. In determining whether 3 “exceptional circumstances exist, the district court must evaluate both the likelihood of success on the 4 merits [and] the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the 5 legal issues involved.” Id. (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). In the present case, the Court does not find the required exceptional circumstances. Plaintiff 6 7 contends that his mental health condition makes it difficult for him to effectively prosecute this action. 8 Although Plaintiff contends that he is being treated for mental health issues, the Court does not find 9 that the exceptional factors necessary to justify appointment of counsel exist in this case, at the present 10 time. The record to date demonstrates that Plaintiff understands the litigation process and how to file 11 documents. Furthermore, the Court cannot evaluate the likelihood of success of the merits at this 12 juncture, and the record in this case demonstrates sufficient writing ability and legal knowledge to 13 articulate the claims asserted. Moreover, circumstances common to most prisoners, such as lack of 14 legal education and limited law library access, do not establish exceptional circumstances that would 15 warrant a request for voluntary assistance of counsel. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s second motion for 16 appointment of counsel is denied, without prejudice. 17 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. 19 Dated: 20 September 17, 2018 UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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