Palmer-Carri v. State of California et al

Filing 7

ORDER Denying 4 Motion to Appoint Counsel Without Prejudice. Signed by Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel on 12/1/17. (All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(dlg)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 JANET PALMER-CARRI, Case No.: 3:17-cv-02248-GPC-BGS Plaintiff, 12 13 v. 14 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL WITHOUT PREJUDICE STATE OF CALIFORNIA; STATE GOVT AGENCIES; POLICE OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY; JERRY BROWN, Governor; OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL, 15 16 17 18 [ECF No. 4] Defendants. 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 On November 3, 2017, Plaintiff filed this action pro se against the State of California and its agencies, the Police of San Diego County, Governor Jerry Brown, and the Office of the Attorney General. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff has paid the filing fee for this action. (See id.) On November 15, Plaintiff filed a motion for appointment of counsel in light of her inability to afford retained consel. (ECF No. 4.) Generally, a civil plaintiff has no right to appointed counsel. See Hernandez v. Whiting, 881 F.2d 768, 770-71 (9th Cir. 1989). A district court, however, “may request an attorney to represent any person unable to afford counsel.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). Under the law of this circuit, court appointment of counsel requires a finding of 1 3:17-cv-02248-GPC-BGS 1 “exceptional circumstances.” Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991). In 2 order to assess whether such circumstances exist, the Court must evaluate both a 3 petitioner’s (a) likelihood of success on the merits and (b) ability to articulate her claims 4 in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved. Id. “Neither of these factors is 5 dispositive and both must be viewed together before reaching a decision.” Id. (quoting 6 Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986)). The Ninth Circuit has 7 determined that not every difficulty a pro se plaintiff encounters in prosecuting her case 8 is a complexity entitling her to counsel. Wilborn, 789 F.2d at 1331 (“If all that was 9 required to establish successfully the complexity of the relevant issues was a 10 demonstration of the need for [the] development of further facts, practically all cases 11 would involve complex legal issues. Thus, although Wilborn may have found it difficult 12 to articulate his claims pro se, he has neither demonstrated a likelihood of success on the 13 merits nor shown that the complexity of the issues involved was sufficient to require 14 designation of counsel.” ) 15 Here, at this time, based on the Complaint, the Court cannot determine whether 16 Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits of her claims. In addition, Plaintiff has not 17 made a showing of her inability to articulate the basis of her claims in light of the 18 complexities of the issues involved. 19 20 21 Under these circumstances, the Court DENIES Plaintiff’s request for appointment of counsel without prejudice. IT IS SO ORDERED. 22 23 Dated: December 1, 2017 24 25 26 27 28 2 3:17-cv-02248-GPC-BGS

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