Blow v. County of San Diego et al

Filing 26

ORDER Denying 14 Motion to Appoint Counsel ; Denying 18 Motion to Appoint Counsel. Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 4/17/2017. (All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(dxj)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 JOSHUA ALAN BLOW, Case No.: 17-CV-157 JLS (JLB) Plaintiff, 12 13 14 ORDER DENYING MOTIONS FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL v. COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO, et. al, (ECF Nos. 14, 18) Defendants. 15 16 17 18 Presently before the Court is Plaintiff Joshua Alan Blow’s Motion for Appointment 19 of Counsel, (ECF No. 14), and Renewed Request for Appointment of Counsel, (“Counsel 20 Mot.,” ECF No. 18).1 The Court previously granted Plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma 21 pauperis but denied his initial motion to appoint counsel. (ECF No. 4.) The Court 22 subsequently denied his amended motion to appoint counsel. (ECF No. 10.) The Court 23 concluded exercising its limited ability to appoint counsel in a civil case was not 24 appropriate because Plaintiff had not demonstrated “exceptional circumstances.” (Id.; see 25 26 Plaintiff’s Motion for Appointment of Counsel, (ECF No. 14), appears to be a verbatim copy of his Renewed Request for Appointment of Counsel, (ECF No. 18). Accordingly, the Court cites to the latter of Plaintiff’s motions, but the Court’s Order applies to both. 1 27 28 1 17-CV-157 JLS (JLB) 1 also id. at 3–42 (discussing Palmer v. Valdez, 560 F.3d 965, 970 (9th Cir. 2004), and setting 2 forth the appropriate legal standard for appointment of counsel in civil proceedings).) 3 In his renewed request, Plaintiff provides an affidavit from Julio Reyes, who is 4 Plaintiff’s “caretaker and partner in everything else in life.” (Counsel Mot. 2, ECF No. 18.) 5 In general, Mr. Reyes states the following: (1) Mr. Reyes has drafted and assisted Plaintiff 6 with his filings thus far, (id. ¶ 1); (2) Plaintiff has difficulty articulating his claims and gets 7 easily frustrated by complex tasks due to his disabilities, (id. ¶ 2); (3) Plaintiff does not 8 have any formal legal training, (id. ¶ 3); (4) Mr. Reyes is not a lawyer and thus cannot 9 represent Plaintiff, (id. ¶ 4); (5) Plaintiff and Mr. Reyes have unsuccessfully sought legal 10 counsel from other organizations, (id. ¶ 5); (6) Defendants have “vast resources and 11 unlimited budgets” and thus it is unfair for Plaintiff to be unrepresented, (id. ¶ 6); (7) 12 Plaintiff does not understand “the legal terms, citations[,] and jargon” used in the Court’s 13 Orders, (id. ¶ 7). 14 As before, this request still does not demonstrate “exceptional circumstances” 15 warranting an appointment of counsel. See Palmer, 560 F.3d at 970. First, Plaintiff has not 16 demonstrated that he is likely to succeed on the merits. This case is in its infancy, and 17 Defendants have recently filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint. 18 (See ECF No. 25.) Second, Plaintiff has demonstrated his ability to articulate his claims 19 pro se thus far. In addition to filing the several motions for appointment of counsel, Plaintiff 20 has successfully moved the Court for permission to amend his original Complaint, (see 21 ECF Nos. 22, 23), and Plaintiff successfully filed a response in opposition to Defendants’ 22 initial motion to dismiss the original Complaint, (see ECF No. 23), which is replete with 23 case analysis and citations. This renders questionable Plaintiff’s claim that he does not 24 /// 25 /// 26 27 28 2 Pin citations to docketed material refer to the CM/ECF numbers electronically stamped at the top of each page. 2 17-CV-157 JLS (JLB) 1 understand the “legal terms, citations[,] and jargon” of the Court’s Orders. Accordingly, at 2 this time the Court DENIES Plaintiff’s pending motions to appoint counsel (ECF Nos. 14, 3 18). 4 5 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: April 17, 2017 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 17-CV-157 JLS (JLB)

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