Ayala v. Fermon et al

Filing 17

ORDER Denying 16 Motion to Appoint Counsel. Signed by Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel on 5/8/15. (All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(dlg)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 JONATHAN AYALA, CDCR #F-25736, Plaintiff, 13 14 Civil 14cv1794 GPC (JLB) No. ORDER DENYING MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL [ECF No. 16] vs. 15 16 W. FERMON; W.L. MONTGOMERY, 17 18 Defendants. 19 20 21 On May 7, 2015, Plaintiff Jonathan Ayala (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se, filed 22 a letter noticing his change of address. (ECF No. 16.) In that letter he requests that he “be 23 permitted by the honorable Judge to obtaine [sic] Assistance of Counsel.” (Id.) The Court 24 construes this as a motion for appointment of counsel. This is a civil rights action where 25 Plaintiff alleges violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on allegations that Defendant W. 26 Fermon, a prison guard, shot Plaintiff. (ECF No. 8.) Generally, litigants have no right to 27 counsel in civil actions. See Storseth v. Spellman, 654 F.2d 1349, 1353 (9th Cir. 1981). 28 However, the Court may appoint counsel for indigent civil litigants pursuant to 28 U.S.C. -1- 14cv1794 GPC (JLB) 1 § 1915(e)(1) in “exceptional circumstances.” Agyeman v. Corrs. Corp. of Am., 390 F.3d 2 1101, 1103 (9th Cir. 2004), cert. denied sub nom. Gerber v. Agyeman, 545 U.S. 1128 3 (2005). In determining whether “exceptional circumstances” exist, the Court considers 4 “the likelihood of success on the merits” as well as “the ability of the petitioner to 5 articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved.” 6 Wilborn v. Escalderson, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir.1986) (citations and internal 7 quotation marks omitted). “Neither of these factors is dispositive and both must be 8 viewed together before reaching a decision on request of counsel under section 1915(d).” 9 Id. 10 Plaintiff states that he “will be admitted long term in the system of Department of 11 State Hospitals” to “receive extensive long term treatment for mental state health and 12 pain due to trauma injury.” (ECF No. 16.) While Plaintiff will allegedly be receiving 13 mental health treatment, the clarity of Plaintiff’s letter and complaint appears to indicate 14 that he can articulate his claims pro se. (See id.; ECF No. 8) Additionally, a review of 15 Plaintiff’s complaint does not indicate that the legal issues involved are complex. (See 16 ECF No. 8.) Accordingly, the Court finds that, based on the record before it, there do not 17 exist exceptional circumstances that warrant the appointment of counsel and thus 18 DENIES without prejudice Plaintiff’s motion for appointment of counsel. (ECF No. 16.) 19 20 IT IS SO ORDERED. DATED: May 8, 2015 21 22 23 HON. GONZALO P. CURIEL United States District Judge 24 25 26 27 28 -2- 14cv1794 GPC (JLB)

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?