Floyd v. 24 Hour Fitness USA

Filing 53

ORDER re 51 Plaintiff's Motion for Clarification by Judge Edward M. Chen. (emclc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/8/2024)Any non-CM/ECF Participants have been served by First Class Mail to the addresses of record listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 MICHAEL DEVIN FLOYD, Plaintiff, 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 Case No. 23-cv-00871-EMC ORDER RE PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR CLARIFICATION v. 24 HOUR FITNESS USA, LLC, Defendant. Docket No. 51 12 13 14 Plaintiff has filed a motion asking for clarification as to why his motion for appointment of 15 counsel was denied. See, e.g., Floyd Decl. ¶ 5 (expressing surprise and being upset about denial of 16 appointment of counsel because he had “renewed efforts to search and find counsel” which took 17 several weeks of his time). The Court provides the following clarification. 18 Generally, a person does not have right to counsel in civil cases; the Constitution does not 19 require such. See Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 354 (1996); Palmer v. Valdez, 560 F.3d 965, 970 20 (9th Cir. 2009). Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1), a court has discretion to appoint an attorney to 21 represent a person unable to afford counsel. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) (“The court may request 22 an attorney to represent any person unable to afford counsel.”). However, the Ninth Circuit has 23 explained that appointment of counsel under § 1915 should be “granted only in exceptional 24 circumstances.” United States v. McQuade, 579 F.2d 1180, 1181 (9th Cir. 1978); see also Palmer, 25 560 F.3d at 970. By itself, a litigant’s “indigence does not qualify ‘as an exceptional 26 circumstance.’” Holmes v. Mueller, No. 1:20-cv-00737-ADA-HBK (PC), 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27 169349, at *2 (E.D. Cal. Sept. 21, 2023). Nor does a litigant’s “purported lack of legal knowledge 28 [which] is a normal challenge faced by all pro se litigants.” Id. Although “the assistance of 1 counsel may be helpful, the ‘relevant consideration is not one of convenience’ but rather 2 exceptionalness.” Id. Here, Plaintiff has not met that high standard. 3 This order disposes of Docket No. 51. 4 5 IT IS SO ORDERED. 6 7 Dated: July 8, 2024 8 9 10 ______________________________________ EDWARD M. CHEN United States District Judge United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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