Buchanan v. Garikaparthi et al

Filing 45

ORDER denying Plaintiff's 44 Motion to Appoint Counsel. Signed by Magistrate Judge Mitchell D. Dembin on 6/1/2017. (All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service) (fth)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 TORRY BUCHANAN, Case No.: 15cv59-BEN-MDD Plaintiff, 12 13 v. 14 DR. A. GARIKAPARTHI, et al., 15 Defendants. ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL [ECF No. 44] 16 17 On May 28, 2017, Plaintiff moved for the appointment of counsel. (ECF 18 No. 44). Plaintiff requests counsel be appointed to assist him because he is 19 an indigent prisoner, Plaintiff is a layperson with “limited access to the law 20 library and limited knowledge of the law,” and Plaintiff “does not have the 21 experience of legal qualifications to confront testimony or to cross examine” 22 Defendants’ expert witnesses or to present his own evidence. (Id. at 1-2). In 23 support, Plaintiff attaches Defendant Garikaparthi’s expert witness 24 designation and expert report. (Id. at 4-143). For the reasons stated herein, 25 the Court DENIES Plaintiff’s motion. 26 There is no constitutional right to counsel in civil cases. Lassiter v. 27 Department of Social Servs., 452 U.S. 18, 25 (1981). District courts have 1 15cv59-BEN-MDD 1 discretion to appoint counsel to represent an indigent civil litigant, but this 2 discretion is rarely exercised and only under “exceptional circumstances.” 3 Agyeman v. Corr. Corp. of America, 390 F.3d 1101, 1103 (9th Cir. 2004). A 4 finding of exceptional circumstances requires “an evaluation of the likelihood 5 of the plaintiff’s success on the merits and an evaluation of the plaintiff’s 6 ability to articulate his claims ‘in light of the complexity of the legal issues 7 involved.’” Id. at 1103 (quoting Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 8 (9th Cir. 1986)). 9 Plaintiff has litigated this case for over two years without assistance of 10 counsel. In that time, Plaintiff has demonstrated an ability to articulate his 11 claims, his pleading survived the early screening process, and he participated 12 in a Mandatory Settlement Conference before this Court on May 26, 2017. 13 (See ECF Nos. 1, 3, 4, 13, 25, 42). Additionally, Plaintiff’s remaining claims 14 are not particularly complex, and although sufficiently plead to survive 15 screening, Plaintiff has not demonstrated a likelihood of success on the 16 merits. Accordingly, Plaintiff has not demonstrated “exceptional 17 circumstances” and his motion is DENIED. 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. 19 20 Dated: June 1, 2017 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 2 15cv59-BEN-MDD

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