Watts v. Ruggiero et al

Filing 28

ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Allison Claire on 11/20/14 ORDERING that plaintiffs motions for the appointment of counsel (ECF Nos. 25 and 27 ) are DENIED.(Dillon, M)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 TIMOTHY WATTS, 12 13 14 15 No. 2:13-cv-1749 TLN AC P Plaintiff, v. ORDER M. RUGGIERO, et al., Defendants. 16 17 18 19 Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a civil rights action, has requested appointment of counsel. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that district courts lack authority to require 20 counsel to represent indigent prisoners in § 1983 cases. Mallard v. United States Dist. Court, 490 21 U.S. 296, 298 (1989). In certain exceptional circumstances, the district court may request the 22 voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 23 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991); Wood v. Housewright, 900 F.2d 1332, 1335-36 (9th Cir. 1990). 24 The test for exceptional circumstances requires the court to evaluate the plaintiff’s 25 likelihood of success on the merits and the ability of the plaintiff to articulate his claims pro se in 26 light of the complexity of the legal issues involved. Palmer v. Valdez, 560 F.3d 965, 970 (9th 27 Cir. 2009) (district court did not abuse discretion in declining to appoint counsel); Wilborn v. 28 Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986); Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1 1 2 1983). Circumstances common to most prisoners, such as lack of legal education and limited law 3 library access, do not establish exceptional circumstances that would warrant a request for 4 voluntary assistance of counsel. Plaintiff’s representation that he is an inmate who is classified as 5 an E.O.P. (Enhanced Outpatient Program) in the prison’s mental health system does not rise to 6 the level of an exceptional circumstance. Many prisoners who are able to proceed pro se in civil 7 rights actions suffer from both mental and physical disabilities or limitations. Plaintiff has been 8 able to frame colorable claims in a pro se complaint against a number of defendants. In the 9 present case and at the present time, the court does not find the required exceptional 10 11 circumstances. Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motions for the appointment of 12 counsel (ECF Nos. 25 and 27) are denied. 13 DATED: November 20, 2014 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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