Grigsby v. Munguia, et al.

Filing 113

ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Allison Claire on 04/07/17 denying 112 Motion to Appoint Counsel. The clerk's office shall send plaintiff a copy of Local Rule 270. (Plummer, 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 JONATHAN GRIGSBY, 12 13 14 15 No. 2:14-cv-0789 GEB AC P Plaintiff, v. ORDER M. MUNGUIA, et al., Defendants. 16 17 Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a civil rights action, has requested 18 appointment of counsel. A settlement conference is scheduled before Magistrate Judge Stanley 19 A. Boone on May 25, 2017 at11:00 a.m. at the U. S. District Court, 2500 Tulare Street, Fresno, 20 California 93721 in Courtroom #9. ECF No. 108. 21 The United States Supreme Court has ruled that district courts lack authority to require 22 counsel to represent indigent prisoners in § 1983 cases. Mallard v. United States Dist. Court, 490 23 U.S. 296, 298 (1989). In certain exceptional circumstances, the district court may request the 24 voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 25 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991); Wood v. Housewright, 900 F.2d 1332, 1335-36 (9th Cir. 1990). 26 The test for exceptional circumstances requires the court to evaluate the plaintiff’s 27 likelihood of success on the merits and the ability of the plaintiff to articulate his claims pro se in 28 light of the complexity of the legal issues involved. See Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1 1 1331 (9th Cir. 1986); Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983). Circumstances 2 common to most prisoners, such as lack of legal education and limited law library access, do not 3 establish exceptional circumstances that would warrant a request for voluntary assistance of 4 counsel. 5 In the present case, the court does not find the required exceptional circumstances at this 6 time. Plaintiff’s excessive force claim is not particularly complex, and plaintiff has thus far been 7 able to articulate his claims pro se. Indeed, the court has denied defendants’ motion for summary 8 judgment and directed defendants to produce further documents to plaintiff relevant to his claim. 9 Plaintiff’s limited legal knowledge and discovery disputes with defendants are circumstances 10 common to most prisoners that do not warrant appointment of counsel. Therefore, plaintiff’s 11 request for appointment of counsel will be denied without prejudice to its renewal at a later stage 12 of the proceeding (assuming this case is not resolved at the upcoming settlement conference). 13 The court will, however, direct the Clerk’s Office to send plaintiff a copy of Local Rule 270 to 14 assist him in preparing his confidential settlement statement. 15 16 17 18 19 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 1. Plaintiff’s motion for the appointment of counsel (ECF No. 112) is denied without prejudice. 2. The Clerk’s Office shall send plaintiff a copy of Local Rule 270. DATED: April 7, 2017 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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