Rohlfing v. Sokol

Filing 8

ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Edmund F. Brennan on 8/1/11 DENYING 7 Motion to Appoint Counsel. (Donati, J)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 KRISTI ROHLFING, Plaintiff, 11 12 13 No. CIV 11-1042 GEB EFB PS vs. F. DON SOKOL, and DOES 1-100, Defendants. 14 ORDER / 15 16 This case, in which plaintiff is proceeding in propria persona and in forma pauperis, was 17 referred to the undersigned under Local Rule 302(c)(21), pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). On 18 July 27, 2011, the undersigned issued an order dismissing plaintiff’s complaint with leave to 19 amend. Dckt. No. 6. Among other things, the order also denied plaintiff’s motion to appoint 20 counsel and plaintiff’s motion to remove various matters from Lassen County, including a case 21 involving a domestic violence restraining order, a family law matter, and a personal injury 22 matter. Id. 23 With regard to plaintiff’s motion to appoint counsel, the order informed plaintiff that 24 “[t]he court may only designate counsel to represent an indigent civil litigant pursuant to 28 25 U.S.C. § 1915(d) in certain exceptional circumstances” and that “[i]n considering whether 26 exceptional circumstances exist, the court must evaluate (1) the plaintiff’s likelihood of success 1 1 on the merits; and (2) the ability of the plaintiff to articulate her claims pro se in light of the 2 complexity of the legal issues involved.” Id. (citing Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th 3 Cir. 1991); Wood v. Housewright, 900 F.2d 1332, 1335-36 (9th Cir. 1990); Richards v. Harper, 4 864 F.2d 85, 87 (9th Cir. 1988)). The court then denied plaintiff’s motion to appoint counsel 5 because it could not “conclude that plaintiff’s likelihood of success, the complexity of the issues, 6 or the degree of plaintiff’s ability to articulate her claims amount to exceptional circumstances 7 justifying the appointment of counsel at this time.” Dckt. No. 6. 8 Then, on July 27, 2011, plaintiff filed a further motion to appoint counsel. Dckt. No. 7. 9 In the motion, plaintiff argues that she is severely disabled and that it is “virtually impossible” 10 for her to proceed in this case without the appointment of counsel because of her physical 11 limitations and financial difficulties. Id. at 2. She further adds that there is no possibility of her 12 getting fair treatment in her personal injury case in Susanville and that her ex-husband, who has 13 a criminal record, “won’t stop stalking” her.1 Id. at 3. However, plaintiff’s complaint has been 14 dismissed and plaintiff has not yet filed an amended complaint in conformance with the July 27 15 order. Therefore, the court still cannot conclude that plaintiff’s likelihood of success, the 16 complexity of the issues, or the degree of plaintiff’s ability to articulate her claims amount to 17 exceptional circumstances justifying the appointment of counsel at this time. Accordingly, IT IS 18 HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion for the appointment of counsel, Dckt. No. 7, is 19 denied without prejudice. 20 DATED: August 1, 2011. 21 22 23 24 25 26 1 Additionally, to the extent that plaintiff’s filing also includes a request for the court to reconsider its ruling on the denial of plaintiff’s motion to remove her pending state law cases, such a request is denied since plaintiff has not shown that she is entitled to such reconsideration. 2

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