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