Kwong v. Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office et al

Filing 20


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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 SAN JOSE DIVISION 6 7 SUZANNE DUYEN KWONG, Plaintiff, 8 9 10 11 v. SANTA CLARA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, et al., United States District Court Northern District of California Defendants. Case No. 17-cv-02127-BLF ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR EMERGENCY LEAVE TO OBTAIN ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION OR PER AMICI CURIAE REPRESENTATION [Re: ECF 19] 12 13 On May 5, 2017, Plaintiff Suzanne Duyen Kwong filed a motion for emergency leave to 14 obtain attorney representation or per amici curiae representation. Mot., ECF 19. Kwong claims 15 that due to her “legal disability,” she is unable to represent herself adequately, and is “in fear of 16 being pulled out of her home unlawfully.” Id. at 1–2. 17 To the extent that Kwong is seeking a stay of this action while she locates an attorney, the 18 request is DENIED. Granting a motion to stay is within the sound discretion of the Court.” Fuller 19 v. Amerigas Propane, Inc., No. 09-2493, 2009 WL 2390358, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 3, 2009). The 20 power to stay is “incidental to the power inherent in every court to control the disposition of the 21 causes on its docket with economy of time and effort for itself, for counsel, and for litigants.” Id. 22 (quoting Rivers v. Walt Disney Co., 980 F. Supp. 1358, 1360 (C.D. Cal. 1997) (quoting Landis v. 23 N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936) (internal quotation marks omitted)). Here, Kwong has 24 asserted no reason for a stay beyond the fact she is proceeding pro se and would like to retain 25 counsel to represent her. Were the Court to adopt a lack of counsel as a reason to grant a stay, the 26 Court would be unable to move forward cases in which a party is representing herself pro se 27 forward. Accordingly, the Court DENIES Kwong’s motion for a stay. If Kwong is able to retain 28 an attorney, pro bono or otherwise, that attorney may appear in this action. 1 To the extent that Kwong is asking the Court to appoint counsel to represent her, that 2 request is also DENIED. A district court may exercise its discretion to secure counsel for an 3 indigent civil litigant under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d) only under “exceptional circumstances,” so grants 4 of such a motion are relatively rare. United States v. 30.64 Acres of Land, More or Less, Situated 5 in Klickitat Cty., State of Wash., 795 F.2d 796, 799–800 (9th Cir. 1986) (citing Aldabe v. Aldabe, 6 616 F.2d 1089, 1093 (9th Cir.1980)). Although Kwong claims that she needs legal representation 7 because this is a “serious and complicated matter” and she is not an attorney, these are the 8 difficulties that any litigant would have in proceeding pro se. As such, they do not indicate 9 exceptional factors. See Wood v. Housewright, 900 F.2d 1332, 1335–36 (9th Cir. 1990) (finding 10 that factors normally encountered by pro se litigants do not constitute exceptional circumstances). United States District Court Northern District of California 11 The Court notes that Plaintiff may wish to contact the Federal Pro Se Program, a free 12 program that offers limited legal services and advice to parties who are representing themselves. 13 The Federal Pro Se Program has offices in two locations, listed below. Help is provided by 14 appointment and on a drop-in basis. Parties may make appointments by calling the program’s 15 staff attorney, Mr. Kevin Knestrick, at 408-297-1480. Additional information regarding the 16 Federal Pro Se Program is available at 17 18 19 20 21 Federal Pro Se Program United States Courthouse 280 South 1st Street 2nd Floor, Room 2070 San Jose, CA 95113 Monday to Thursday 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Fridays by appointment only Federal Pro Se Program The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley 152 North 3rd Street 3rd Floor San Jose, CA 95112 Monday to Thursday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Fridays by appointment only IT IS SO ORDERED. 22 23 24 25 Dated: May 5, 2017 ______________________________________ BETH LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge 26 27 28 2

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