Franklin v. De Castilla et al
ORDER denying plaintiff's 12 Second Motion to Appoint Counsel signed by Hon. Brian A Tsuchida.**2 PAGE(S), PRINT ALL**(Travis Franklin, Prisoner ID: 326228)(RS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
TRAVIS SKYLER OWEN FRANKLIN,
CASE NO. C17-594-JLR-BAT
ORDER DENYING SECOND
MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL
DIEGO LOPEZ DE CASTILLA, et al.,
Plaintiff Travis Franklin, who is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil
rights action, has filed a motion to appoint counsel. Dkt. 12. This is plaintiff’s second motion
for counsel. His first motion, Dkt. 4, was denied. For similar reasons, the Court DENIES this
second motion WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
Generally, a person has no right to counsel in a civil action. See Campbell v. Burt, 141
F.3d 927, 931 (9th Cir. 1998). The Court may appoint counsel for indigent civil litigants under
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1), but only under “exceptional circumstances.” Agyeman v. Corrections
Corp. of Am., 390 F.3d 1101, 1103 (9th Cir. 2004). When determining whether “exceptional
circumstances” exist, the Court considers “the likelihood of success on the merits as well as the
ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues
involved.” Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983).
ORDER DENYING SECOND MOTION TO
APPOINT COUNSEL - 1
Plaintiff’s second motion contends exceptional circumstances exist because he has mental
and physical disabilities and little education, “which prevents him from understanding the legal
documents he receives from the defendants and the Court.” Dkt. 12 at 3. The Court understands
this second motion was filed with the assistance of a fellow inmate. Id. at 1. But even assuming
without deciding that plaintiff is unable to articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity
of the legal issues involved, plaintiff has still failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits.
Plaintiff’s amended complaint contends the defendant failed to timely schedule a kidney biopsy
or send plaintiff to a nephrologist, thereby “either purposefully ignor[ing] or fail[ing] to respond
to [his] pain and medical needs” and resulting in long-term medical complications. Dkt. 6 at 3.
Though the exhibits attached to plaintiff’s second motion to appoint counsel discuss to some
extent treatments given or not given to address plaintiff’s kidney disorder, they are insufficient to
establish plaintiff is likely to prevail on the merits of his claim. See Dkt. 12. Appointment of
counsel is therefore not justified at this time, and the Court DENIES the motion, Dkt. 12,
WITHOUT PREJUDICE. Plaintiff may renew his motion in the future if exceptional
circumstances arise. Any renewed motion must establish plaintiff meets both prongs of the
“exceptional circumstances” test. See Weygandt, 718 F.2d at 954.
The Clerk shall provide a copy of this Order to plaintiff.
DATED this 6th day of July, 2017.
BRIAN A. TSUCHIDA
United States Magistrate Judge
ORDER DENYING SECOND MOTION TO
APPOINT COUNSEL - 2
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