Williams v. Alcala et al

Filing 70

ORDER Denying Plaintiff's Third 68 Motion to Appoint Counsel, without Prejudice signed by Magistrate Judge Stanley A. Boone on 01/04/2019. (Flores, E)

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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 THIRD MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL, WITHOUT PREJUDICE [ECF No. 68] pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently before the Court is Plaintiff’s third motion for appointment of counsel, filed January 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 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) 2, 2019. 21 As Plaintiff has been advised, he does not have a constitutional right to appointed counsel in 22 this action, Rand v. Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), and the court cannot require any 23 attorney to represent plaintiff pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). Mallard v. United States District 24 Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 490 U.S. 296, 298 (1989). However, in certain exceptional 25 circumstances the court may request the voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to section 26 1915(e)(1). Rand, 113 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 and he is in need of discovery documents. Although Plaintiff contends that he is being treated for 9 mental health issues, the Court does not find that the exceptional factors necessary to justify 10 appointment of counsel exist in this case, at the present time. The Court previously denied Plaintiff’s 11 requests and nothing has substantially changed in this case since that time to change the Court’s 12 analysis. The record to date demonstrates that Plaintiff understands the litigation process and how to 13 file documents. Furthermore, the Court cannot evaluate the likelihood of success of the merits at this 14 juncture, and the record in this case demonstrates sufficient writing ability and legal knowledge to 15 articulate the claims asserted. Moreover, circumstances common to most prisoners, such as lack of 16 legal education and limited law library access, do not establish exceptional circumstances that would 17 warrant a request for voluntary assistance of counsel. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s third motion for 18 appointment of counsel is denied, without prejudice. 19 20 IT IS SO ORDERED. 21 Dated: 22 January 4, 2019 UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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