Thomas v. Voong
ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Craig M. Kellison on 02/02/17 denying 108 Motion to Appoint Counsel and denying 109 Motion for reassignment of this action. (Plummer, M)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
JASON LATRELL THOMAS,
TERRY, et al.,
Plaintiff, a prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this civil rights action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the court are: (1) plaintiff’s motion for the appointment of
counsel (Doc. 108); and (2) plaintiff’s motion for reassignment of this matter to a different
Magistrate Judge (Doc. 109).
In his motion for the appointment of counsel, plaintiff states that he is not
mentally competent to proceed on his own. In support, plaintiff provides a May 25, 2016, letter
from Leonard Tauman of the Sacramento County Public Defender indicating that, based on a
report by Dr. Cavanaugh, plaintiff was found incompetent to face criminal charges in state court.
In particular, Mr. Tauman states that he expects the trial judge to “make arrangements to suspend
the proceedings until your present sanity is restored.” It thus appears that, despite a finding in
May 2016 that plaintiff was not competent to face criminal charges, it was believed that
plaintiff’s competence could be restored. Plaintiff’s current motion for the appointment of
counsel will be denied without prejudice to renewal accompanied by evidence of plaintiff’s
current mental state and ability to proceed with this civil action on his own.
Plaintiff seeks reassignment of this action to a different Magistrate Judge.
Because plaintiff has not allege any personal bias stemming from an extrajudicial source which
could prevent a fair decision, plaintiff’s request will be denied. See 28 U.S.C. § 144; see also
Berger v. United States, 255 U.S. 22 (1922).
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
Plaintiff’s motion for the appointment of counsel (Doc. 108) is denied
without prejudice; and
Plaintiff’s motion for reassignment of this action (Doc. 109) is denied.
DATED: February 2, 2017
CRAIG M. KELLISON
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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