Blow v. San Diego County District Attorney's Office et al

Filing 7

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)

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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, 12 CASE NO. 17cv158-LAB (KSC) Plaintiff, ORDER DENYING RENEWED MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL vs. 13 14 SAN DIEGO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, et al., Defendants. 15 16 17 Plaintiff Joshua Blow, proceeding pro se, filed his complaint, along with a motion to 18 proceed in forma pauperis and a motion for appointment of counsel. The Court granted him 19 leave to proceed in forma pauperis, screened and dismissed his complaint, and denied his 20 motion to appoint counsel, noting he had not asked any attorneys about the possibility of 21 representing him. 22 He has now renewed his motion for appointment of counsel, saying he contacted two 23 legal aid societies but neither was equipped to handle a claim in federal court. Although he 24 said he made “many calls and attempts to find legal counsel,” he did not say what those 25 were, whom he contacted, or why they were not employed to handle his claims. 26 In its screening order, the Court pointed out that Blow probably does not have any 27 claim that this Court can adjudicate. He has no claim under HIPAA, and any claim he might 28 have appears to be a state claim. But because the parties are not diverse, the Court cannot -1- 17cv158 1 exercise diversity jurisdiction over any state law claim he might have. In addition, the claims 2 are intertwined with state court proceedings, which likely prevents or severely limits the 3 Court’s power to adjudicate them. Because it wasn’t completely certain that Blow could not 4 amend to state a federal claim, the Court gave him leave to amend. But at the same time 5 it appears unlikely he has any claim that could be heard by this Court. The state court where 6 his case is being heard may be the appropriate forum to raise his concerns, or he may have 7 some claim that another state court could adjudicate. 8 The Court may request counsel to represent an indigent litigant in “exceptional 9 circumstances”. Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1236 (9th Cir. 1984). Exceptional 10 circumstances require the Court to consider the likelihood of Plaintiff’s success on the merits, 11 and an evaluation of his ability to articulate his claims. See Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 12 1017 (9th Cir. 1991). Blow appears to be reasonably able to articulate his claims, at least 13 at this stage of the litigation. He is able to file intelligible motions, and the Court understands 14 the general nature of his claims. It appears very unlikely, though, that he will succeed on the 15 merits, at least in this Court. Both factors weigh against appointing counsel, and the Court 16 finds that no exceptional circumstances exist at this time that would justify requesting 17 counsel for Blow. 18 The motion is DENIED. 19 20 21 IT IS SO ORDERED. DATED: February 3, 2017 22 23 HONORABLE LARRY ALAN BURNS United States District Judge 24 25 26 27 28 -2- 17cv158

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