Juarez v. Butts et al
ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Deborah Barnes on 12/03/17 DENYING 48 Motion to Appoint Counsel and GRANTING 47 Motion for Extension of time. Plaintiff is granted 30 days from the date of this order in which to file a response to defendant's motion to dismiss. Defendant's reply, if any, shall be filed within 7 days thereafter. (Plummer, M)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
No. 2:15-cv-1996 JAM DB P
Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a civil rights action, has requested
appointment of counsel as he is unable to afford counsel and an attorney would make the
presentation of his case more effective. (ECF No. 48.) Plaintiff also requests an extension of time
to file his opposition to defendant’s motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 47.)
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.
The court finds good cause for plaintiff’s motion for an extension of time. However,
plaintiff is warned that any further requests for additional time must be supported by a showing of
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff’s motion for the appointment of counsel (ECF No. 48) is denied;
2. Plaintiff’s motion for an extension of time (ECF No. 47) is granted; and
3. Plaintiff is granted thirty days from the date of this order in which to file a response to
defendant’s motion to dismiss. Defendant’s reply, if any, shall be filed within seven days
Dated: December 3, 2017
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