Lopez v. Allison et al

Filing 38

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL by Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton denying 37 Motion to Appoint Counsel. (kc, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/1/2022)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 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 4 ANDREW LOPEZ, Plaintiff, 5 6 7 United States District Court Northern District of California ORDER DENYING MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL v. D. C. THOMAS, Re: Dkt. No. 37 Defendant. 8 9 Case No. 21-cv-07136-PJH This is a civil rights case brought pro se by a prisoner. Plaintiff has filed a motion 10 to appoint counsel. There is no constitutional right to counsel in a civil case, Lassiter v. 11 Dep't of Social Services, 452 U.S. 18, 25 (1981), and although district courts may 12 “request” that counsel represent a litigant who is proceeding in forma pauperis, as plaintiff 13 is here, see 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1), that does not give the courts the power to make 14 “coercive appointments of counsel.” Mallard v. United States Dist. Court, 490 U.S. 296, 15 310 (1989). 16 The Ninth Circuit has held that a district court may ask counsel to represent an 17 indigent litigant only in “exceptional circumstances,” the determination of which requires 18 an evaluation of both (1) the likelihood of success on the merits and (2) the ability of the 19 plaintiff to articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues 20 involved. Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991). Plaintiff has presented 21 his claims adequately, and the issues are not complex. Therefore, the motion to appoint 22 counsel (Docket No. 37) is DENIED without prejudice. 23 24 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: August 1, 2022 25 26 27 28 /s/ Phyllis J. Hamilton PHYLLIS J. HAMILTON United States District Judge

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