Ledbetter v. City and County of San Francisco Sheriffs Department

Filing 22

ORDER VACATING HEARING AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR COUNSEL re 11 MOTION to Appoint Counsel filed by Johnnie R. Ledbetter, 16 MOTION to Dismiss (NOTICE) filed by City and County of San Francisco Sheriffs Department. Signed by Judge William Alsup on 9/2/08. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service)(dt, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/2/2008)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 v. Sergeant KYM and Deputy GRAHAM, Defendants. / JOHNNIE R. LEDBETTER, Plaintiff, No. C 06-5998 WHA (PR) ORDER VACATING DEFENDANTS' NOTICE OF HEARING AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR COUNSEL IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 This is a civil rights case filed by a state prisoner. Defendants have filed a motion to dismiss and noticed the motion for hearing on September 4, 2008. The order of service stated that no hearing would be held on dispositive motions unless the Court so ordered, which it has not done. The hearing date is VACATED. Plaintiff has moved for appointment of counsel. There is no constitutional right to counsel in a civil case. Lassiter v. Dep't of Social Services, 452 U.S. 18, 25 (1981). District courts have only the power to "request" that counsel represent a litigant who is proceeding in forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(1). This does not give the courts the power to make "coercive appointments of counsel." Mallard v. United States Dist. Court, 490 U.S. 296, 310 (1989). In short, the Court has only the power to ask pro bono counsel to represent plaintiff, not the power to "appoint" counsel. Plaintiff has presented his claims effectively, and the issues, at least at this stage, are not complex. The motion (document number 11 on the docket) is DENIED. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: September 2 , 2008. G:\PRO-SE\WHA\CR.06\LEDBETTER5998.ATY.wpd WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

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