Mora v. California Correctional Center
ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Deborah Barnes on 11/09/17 DENYING 50 Motion to Appoint Counsel and GRANTING 51 Motion for Extension of time. Plaintiff is granted 30 days from the date of this order in which to file and serve an opposition to defendants' motion for summary judgment. Any reply shall be filed and served in accordance with Local Rule 230(l). (Plummer, M)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
No. 2:14-cv-0581 KJM DB P
ZACK EATON, et al.,
Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a civil rights action, has requested
appointment of counsel and an extension of time to respond to defendants' motion for summary
Plaintiff states that he requires the appointment of counsel because he cannot afford to
hire one, the issues in his case are complex, he will have difficulty marshaling evidence because
he is incarcerated, he may suffer retaliation if he conducts an investigation, and he has limited
education. (ECF No. 50.) The United States Supreme Court has ruled that district courts lack
authority to require counsel to represent indigent prisoners in § 1983 cases. Mallard v. United
States Dist. Court, 490 U.S. 296, 298 (1989). In certain exceptional circumstances, the district
court may request the voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). Terrell
v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991); Wood v. Housewright, 900 F.2d 1332, 1335-36
(9th Cir. 1990).
The test for exceptional circumstances requires the court to evaluate the plaintiff’s
likelihood of success on the merits and the ability of the plaintiff to articulate his claims pro se in
light of the complexity of the legal issues involved. See Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328,
1331 (9th Cir. 1986); Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983). Circumstances
common to most prisoners, such as lack of legal education and limited law library access, do not
establish exceptional circumstances that would warrant a request for voluntary assistance of
counsel. In the present case, the court does not find the required exceptional circumstances.
Plaintiff has also requested a second extension of time to file an opposition to defendants’
motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 51.) Good cause appearing, this request will be
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff’s motion for the appointment of counsel (ECF No. 50) is denied;
2. Plaintiff’s motion for an extension of time (ECF No. 51) is granted; and
3. Plaintiff is granted thirty days from the date of this order in which to file and serve an
opposition to defendants’ motion for summary judgment. Any reply shall be filed and served in
accordance with Local Rule 230(l).
Dated: November 9, 2017
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