Warne v. City and County of San Francisco et al

Filing 147

ORDER by Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley denying 135 Motion to Appoint Counsel. (ahm, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/25/2017)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 9 JOEL JENNINGS WARNE, Plaintiff, 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 Case No.16-cv-06773-JSC v. CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, et al., ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL Re: Dkt. No. 135 Defendants. 14 15 Plaintiff moves for appointment of counsel under the Northern District of California’s 16 General Order 25 which provides for appointment of pro bono counsel through the Federal Pro 17 Bono Project. (Dkt. No. 135.) To obtain appointment of counsel under General Order 25, a 18 litigant must be proceeding in forma pauperis and lack the financial resources to retrain counsel. 19 See also Palmer v. Valdez, 560 F.3d 965, 970 (9th Cir. 2009) (“a court may under ‘exceptional 20 circumstances’ appoint counsel for indigent civil litigants pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1)”). 21 Although Plaintiff initially paid the filing fee in state court, he filed an application to proceed in 22 forma pauperis with his motion for appointment of counsel. (Dkt. No. 136.) Because the motion 23 and application to proceed in forma pauperis demonstrate that Plaintiff is not indigent, his motion 24 for appointment of counsel is DENIED. 25 The in forma pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915, does not define what constitutes 26 insufficient assets to constitute indigence. See Escobedo v. Applebees, 787 F.3d 1226, 1234 (9th 27 Cir. 2015). While “one need not be absolutely destitute to obtain benefits of the in forma pauperis 28 statute,” “a plaintiff seeking IFP status must allege poverty with some particularity, definiteness 1 and certainty.” Id. (internal citation and quotation marks omitted). Here, although Plaintiff is not 2 employed because he is attending school full-time, the motion and supporting documentation 3 reflect that Plaintiff has $31,593.66 in a checking account and that he receives a monthly annuity 4 of $1,700 as well as rental income. (Dkt. No. 136 at 2-5.) Under these circumstances, Plaintiff 5 has not alleged poverty with sufficient particularity or definiteness under Section 1915(e)(1) or 6 General Order 25. Plaintiff is, however, encouraged to contact the Legal Help Center, 450 Golden Gate 7 8 Avenue, 15th Floor, Room 2796, Telephone No. (415)-782-8982, for free assistance regarding his 9 claims. 10 This Order disposes of Docket Nos. 135 & 136. United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: July 25, 2017 14 15 JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY United States Magistrate Judge 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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