Jordan v. San Francisco Police Dept et al

Filing 84

ORDER by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers denying 75 Motion for Reconsideration of Denial of Appointment of Counsel. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service)(fs, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/15/2016)

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1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 4 GABRIEL L. JORDAN, Case No. 14-cv-02113-YGR (PR) Plaintiff, 5 v. 6 7 J. ESPINOZA, et al., ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DENIAL OF APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL Defendants. 8 Plaintiff Gabriel L. Jordan, a state prisoner currently incarcerated at the California Medical 10 Facility, filed this pro se civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that he was subjected 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 9 to unconstitutionally excessive force by Defendants in the course of his arrest on May 24, 2012. 12 Before the Court is Plaintiff’s “Ex Parte Request for Appointment of Counsel” (dkt. 75), 13 which will be construed as his Motion for Reconsideration of the Court’s denial of his request for 14 appointment of counsel. 15 Plaintiff’s initial requests for the appointment of counsel were denied.1 He now requests 16 the Court to reconsider its denial of his requests for appointment of counsel. Such a request is 17 hereby DENIED. 18 In his motion for the Court to reconsider its prior ruling and appoint counsel to represent 19 him, Plaintiff proposes that the Court assign counsel for the following reasons: to assist Plaintiff in 20 order to “properly prepare for the settlement conference”; and to “conduct extensive interviews 21 with the transporting Emergency Medical Technicians “EMTs”, and the Emergency Room 22 Physicians,” including “Plaintiff’s treating physician.” Dkt. 75 at 4-5. 23 There is no constitutional right to counsel in a civil case unless an indigent litigant may 24 lose his physical liberty if he loses the litigation. See Lassiter v. Dep’t of Social Services, 452 U.S. 25 18, 25 (1981); Rand v. Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997) (no constitutional right to 26 27 28 1 On April 17, 2015, the Court denied Plaintiff’s initial request for appointment of counsel. Dkt. 29. On July 22, 2015, the Court denied Plaintiff’s second motion for appointment of counsel. Dkt. 41. 1 counsel in a section 1983 action), withdrawn in part on other grounds on reh’g en banc, 154 F.3d 2 952 (9th Cir. 1998) (en banc). The Court may ask counsel to represent an indigent litigant under 3 28 U.S.C. § 1915 only in “exceptional circumstances,” the determination of which requires an 4 evaluation of both (1) the likelihood of success on the merits, and (2) the ability of the plaintiff to 5 articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved. See id. at 1525; 6 Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991); Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 7 1331 (9th Cir. 1986). Both of these factors must be viewed together before reaching a decision on 8 a request for counsel under section 1915. See id. 9 The Court has recently conducted a careful review of all admissible evidence submitted in connection with Defendants’ previously-filed Motion for Summary Judgment. Taking into 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 consideration this review, and Plaintiff's ability to articulate his claims pro se in light of the 12 complexity of the legal issues involved, the Court finds that exceptional circumstances entitling 13 Plaintiff to court appointed counsel do not exist at this time. Accordingly, the request that the 14 Court reconsider its initial denial of Plaintiff’s requests for appointment of counsel is DENIED 15 without prejudice to renewing his request if this action is not resolved after the upcoming 16 settlement proceedings.2 17 This Order terminates Docket No. 75. 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. 19 Dated: April 15, 2016 ______________________________________ YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS United States District Court Judge 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 2 28 The parties are scheduled to appear before Magistrate Judge Nandor Vadas for settlement proceedings on August 15, 2016 at 11:00 am. 2

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