Smith v. Dougherty et al

Filing 28

ORDER denying plaintiff's 25 Second Motion to Appoint Counsel signed by Judge Ricardo S Martinez.(RS) cc plaintiff

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 6 7 8 LISA SMITH, Plaintiff, 9 10 11 v. MEGAN DOHTRY, et al., 12 Defendants. 13 ) ) CASE NO. C16-1818 RSM ) ) ) SECOND ORDER DENYING MOTION ) TO APPOINT COUNSEL ) ) ) ) 14 15 This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff’s Second Motion to Appoint Counsel. 16 Dkt. #25. In a prior motion to appoint counsel, Plaintiff stated that she contacted one attorney in 17 April 2016 and one attorney in July 2016. Dkt. #8. Plaintiff has been granted leave to proceed 18 in forma pauperis in this matter. Dkt. #6. The Complaint was filed on November 30, 2016. 19 20 Defendants appeared on April 17, 2017. Dkt. #19. 21 In civil cases, the appointment of counsel to a pro se litigant “is a privilege and not a 22 right.” United States ex. Rel. Gardner v. Madden, 352 F.2d 792, 793 (9th Cir. 1965) (citation 23 omitted). “Appointment of counsel should be allowed only in exceptional cases.” Id. (citing 24 Weller v. Dickson, 314 F.2d 598 (9th Cir. 1963)). A court must consider together “both the 25 26 likelihood of success on the merits and the ability of the petitioner to articulate his claims pro se 27 in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved.” Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 28 (9th Cir. 1983). Even where the claim is not frivolous, counsel is often unwarranted where the ORDER PAGE - 1 1 2 litigant’s chances of success are extremely slim. See Mars v. Hanberry, 752 F.2d 254, 256 (6th Cir. 1985). 3 At this early stage of the litigation, the Court cannot find that Plaintiff is entitled to 4 appointment of counsel. It does not yet appear that any exceptional circumstances exist, and 5 there is no record before the Court that would allow the Court to adequately examine whether 6 7 8 Plaintiff's claims appear to have merit. Moreover, Plaintiff has filed a Motion to Amend her Complaint, which remains pending at this time. Dkt. #27. 9 Accordingly, the Court hereby finds and ORDERS that Plaintiff’s Motion to Appoint 10 Counsel (Dkt. #25) is DENIED without prejudice. This Order does not preclude Plaintiff from 11 re-filing this Motion once a factual record pertaining to her claims has been more fully developed. 12 13 DATED this 16th day of June 2017. 14 A 15 RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ORDER PAGE - 2

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?