Fuller v. Nguyen et al

Filing 16

ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Allison Claire on 7/10/2017 DENYING plaintiff's 15 motion for the appointment of counsel. (Yin, K)

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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 EDWARD SAMUEL FULLER, 12 13 14 15 No. 2:17-cv-0600 AC P Plaintiff, v. ORDER EUGENE NGUYEN, et al., Defendants. 16 17 18 19 Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se in action pursuant to section 1983, 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. See Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 27 1331 (9th Cir. 1986); Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983). Circumstances 28 common to most prisoners, such as lack of legal education and limited law library access, do not 1 1 establish exceptional circumstances that would warrant a request for voluntary assistance of 2 counsel. 3 In the present case, plaintiff argues that he is “totally medically disabled” and therefore 4 requires counsel to help him present his claims. ECF No. 15 at 2. He notes that he is blind in 5 both eyes and, in his own terms, “mentally disabled.” Id. at 1. The court is not unsympathetic to 6 plaintiff’s medical issues, but to this point he has proved capable of articulating his own claims. 7 The court recognizes that plaintiff alleges that his ability to litigate is reliant, at least in part, on 8 assistance from other inmates who are not obliged to help him. Id. at 4. At this juncture, 9 however, the court concludes that appointment of counsel is unwarranted. To the extent plaintiff 10 requires additional time to respond to filings due to his medical disabilities, he may submit 11 reasonable requests for extension to the court. 12 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion for the appointment of 13 counsel (ECF No. 15) is denied. 14 DATED: July 10, 2017 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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