Rhoden v. Department of State Hospitals et al

Filing 23

ORDER DENYING, WITHOUT PREJUDICE, Plaintiff's 7 Motion to Appoint Counsel, signed by Magistrate Judge Stanley A. Boone on 02/13/2018. (Martin-Gill, S)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 LAWTIS DONALD RHODEN, 12 Plaintiff, 13 14 15 v. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HOSPITALS, et al., Defendants. 16 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No.: 1:18-cv-00101-SAB (PC) ORDER DENYING, WITHOUT PREJUDICE, PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL [ECF No. 7] Plaintiff Lawtis Donald Rhoden is a civil detainee appearing pro se and in forma pauperis in 17 18 this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Individuals detained pursuant to California 19 Welfare and Institutions Code § 6600 et seq. are civil detainees and are not prisoners within the 20 meaning of the Prison Litigation Reform Act. Page v. Torrey, 201 F.3d 1136, 1140 (9th Cir. 2000). On January 29, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion for the appointment of counsel. Plaintiff does not 21 22 have a constitutional right to appointed counsel in this action, Rand v. Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 23 (9th Cir. 1997), and the court cannot require any attorney to represent plaintiff pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 24 1915(e)(1). Mallard v. United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 490 U.S. 296, 25 298 (1989). However, in certain exceptional circumstances the court may request the voluntary 26 assistance of counsel pursuant to section 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). 6 In the present case, the Court does not find the required exceptional circumstances. Even if it 7 assumed that plaintiff is not well versed in the law and that he has made serious allegations which, if 8 proved, would entitle him to relief, his case is not exceptional. At this early stage in the proceedings, 9 the Court cannot make a determination that Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits, and based on a 10 review of the record in this case, the Court does not find that plaintiff cannot adequately articulate his 11 claims. Id. Although the legal issues may be somewhat complex, Plaintiff has thoroughly set forth his 12 allegations in the complaint. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s motion for the appointment of counsel is 13 HEREBY DENIED, without prejudice. 14 15 IT IS SO ORDERED. 16 Dated: 17 February 13, 2018 UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 18 19 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?