Hogue v. State of California et al
ORDER denying 7 Motion to Appoint Pro Bono Counsel signed by Magistrate Judge Erica P. Grosjean on 8/3/2017. (Lundstrom, T)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
ROBERT ALLEN HOGUE,
STATE OF CALIFORNIA, et al.,
Case No. 1:17-cv-00942-EPG (PC)
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S REQUEST
FOR APPOINTMENT OF PRO BONO
(ECF NO. 7)
Robert Hogue (“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 August 2, 2017, Plaintiff filed a
motion for appointment of pro bono counsel. (ECF No. 7).
Plaintiff asks for appointment of counsel because he is unable to afford counsel, because
of the complexity of his case, because he has limited access to the law library, because he has
limited knowledge of the law, because a trial in this case will likely involve conflicting testimony,
and because an expert witness may be needed.
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Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), withdrawn in part on other grounds, 154 F.3d 952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
Aexceptional circumstances exist, the 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 citations 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 still 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 request for appointment of pro
bono counsel at a later stage of the proceedings.
For the foregoing reasons, IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s request for appointment of pro
bono counsel is DENIED without prejudice.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
August 3, 2017
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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