(PC) Gann v. Valley State Prison et al

Filing 27

ORDER DENYING 25 Motion to Appoint Counsel signed by Magistrate Judge Gary S. Austin on 3/31/2021. (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 12 13 14 15 1:19-cv-01797-DAD-GSA (PC) NATHANIEL MARCUS GANN, Plaintiff, ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL v. (Document# 25) VALLEY STATE PRISON, et al., Defendants. 16 17 On March 25, 2021, plaintiff filed a motion seeking the appointment of counsel. Plaintiff 18 does not have a constitutional right to appointed counsel in this action, Rand v. Rowland, 113 19 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), and the court cannot require an attorney to represent plaintiff 20 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). Mallard v. United States District Court for the Southern 21 District of Iowa, 490 U.S. 296, 298, 109 S.Ct. 1814, 1816 (1989). However, in certain 22 exceptional circumstances the court may request the voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to 23 section § 1915(e)(1). Rand, 113 F.3d at 1525. 24 Without a reasonable method of securing and compensating counsel, the court will seek 25 volunteer counsel only in the most serious and exceptional cases. In determining whether 26 “exceptional circumstances” exist, the district court must evaluate both the likelihood of success 27 of the merits [and] the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the 28 complexity of the legal issues involved. 1 1 The Court does not find the required exceptional circumstances. At this early stage in the 2 proceedings, the court cannot make a determination that Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the 3 merits. Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint was screened on March 11, 2021, and he was 4 granted leave to either proceed with First Amended Complaint or file a Second Amended 5 Complaint. To date, Plaintiff has not filed a Second Amended Complaint or notified the court he 6 is willing to proceed with the claims found cognizable by the court in the First Amended 7 Complaint. Thus, at this juncture, there is no complaint on record for which the court can 8 proceed. It is too early for service of process, and no other parties have yet appeared. Moreover, 9 based on the record in this case, the Court finds that Plaintiff can adequately articulate his claims 10 and respond to the Court’s orders. Plaintiff is advised that he is not precluded from renewing the 11 motion for appointment of counsel at a later stage of the proceedings. 12 13 For the foregoing reasons, plaintiff’s motion for the appointment of counsel is HEREBY DENIED, without prejudice. 14 15 16 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: March 31, 2021 /s/ Gary S. Austin UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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