Blow v. San Diego County District Attorney's Office et al
ORDER denying 6 Renewed Motion for Appointment of Counsel. Signed by Judge Larry Alan Burns on 2/3/17. (All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(kas)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
JOSHUA ALAN BLOW,
CASE NO. 17cv158-LAB (KSC)
ORDER DENYING RENEWED MOTION
FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
SAN DIEGO COUNTY DISTRICT
ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, et al.,
Plaintiff Joshua Blow, proceeding pro se, filed his complaint, along with a motion to
proceed in forma pauperis and a motion for appointment of counsel. The Court granted him
leave to proceed in forma pauperis, screened and dismissed his complaint, and denied his
motion to appoint counsel, noting he had not asked any attorneys about the possibility of
He has now renewed his motion for appointment of counsel, saying he contacted two
legal aid societies but neither was equipped to handle a claim in federal court. Although he
said he made “many calls and attempts to find legal counsel,” he did not say what those
were, whom he contacted, or why they were not employed to handle his claims.
In its screening order, the Court pointed out that Blow probably does not have any
claim that this Court can adjudicate. He has no claim under HIPAA, and any claim he might
have appears to be a state claim. But because the parties are not diverse, the Court cannot
exercise diversity jurisdiction over any state law claim he might have. In addition, the claims
are intertwined with state court proceedings, which likely prevents or severely limits the
Court’s power to adjudicate them. Because it wasn’t completely certain that Blow could not
amend to state a federal claim, the Court gave him leave to amend. But at the same time
it appears unlikely he has any claim that could be heard by this Court. The state court where
his case is being heard may be the appropriate forum to raise his concerns, or he may have
some claim that another state court could adjudicate.
The Court may request counsel to represent an indigent litigant in “exceptional
circumstances”. Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1236 (9th Cir. 1984). Exceptional
circumstances require the Court to consider the likelihood of Plaintiff’s success on the merits,
and an evaluation of his ability to articulate his claims. See Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015,
1017 (9th Cir. 1991). Blow appears to be reasonably able to articulate his claims, at least
at this stage of the litigation. He is able to file intelligible motions, and the Court understands
the general nature of his claims. It appears very unlikely, though, that he will succeed on the
merits, at least in this Court. Both factors weigh against appointing counsel, and the Court
finds that no exceptional circumstances exist at this time that would justify requesting
counsel for Blow.
The motion is DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: February 3, 2017
HONORABLE LARRY ALAN BURNS
United States District Judge
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