Sekona v. Custino, et al.
ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Craig M. Kellison on 2/3/2017 DENYING plaintiff's 3 , 19 , 22 , 24 request for the appointment of counsel; and DENYING plaintiff's 4 request for an interpreter. (Yin, K)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
F. CUSTINO, 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 plaintiff’s motions for the appointment of
counsel (Docs. 3, 19, 22, and 24). Also before the court is plaintiff’s request for an interpreter
The United States Supreme Court has ruled that district courts lack authority to
require counsel to represent indigent prisoners in § 1983 cases. See Mallard v. United States
Dist. Court, 490 U.S. 296, 298 (1989). In certain exceptional circumstances, the court may
request the voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). See Terrell v.
Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991); Wood v. Housewright, 900 F.2d 1332, 1335-36
(9th Cir. 1990). A finding of “exceptional circumstances” requires an evaluation of both the
likelihood of success on the merits and the ability of the plaintiff to articulate his claims on his
own in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved. See Terrell, 935 F.2d at 1017.
Neither factor is dispositive and both must be viewed together before reaching a decision. See
In the present case, the court does not at this time find the required exceptional
circumstances. As to success on the merits, while the court has determined that plaintiff has
stated at least some cognizable claims, the court cannot say at this stage of the proceedings that
plaintiff is likely to succeed. Next, the court does not finds that the legal issues – an Eighth
Amendment safety claim and a due process claim – are complex. Finally, plaintiff has
demonstrated an adequate ability to articulate his claims on his own.
As to plaintiff’s request for appointment of an interpreter, the record reflects that
plaintiff has been able to communicate effectively with the court in English without the
assistance of a court-appointed interpreter. Further, plaintiff has not cited authority providing for
appointment of an interpreter in civil cases.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
Plaintiff’s request for the appointment of counsel (Docs. 3, 19, 22, and 24)
are denied; and
Plaintiff’s request for an interpreter (Doc. 4) is denied.
DATED: February 3, 2017
CRAIG M. KELLISON
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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