Dalessio v. University of Washington

Filing 14

ORDER denying plaintiff's 8 Motion to Appoint Counsel by Judge Ricardo S Martinez.(RS)

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 6 7 8 JULIE DALESSIO, Plaintiff, 9 10 v. 11 THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON, 12 Defendant. 13 ) ) CASE NO. C17-0642RSM ) ) ) ORDER DENYING MOTION TO ) APPOINT COUNSEL ) ) ) ) 14 15 This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion to Appoint Counsel. Dkt. #8. 16 Plaintiff asks the Court to appoint counsel in this case on the bases that: 1) she received 17 referrals to attorneys who were “not competent” for this type of case; 2) attempts to engage an 18 attorney by phone or internet contact were not successful; and 3) over the past six months she 19 20 has contacted more than 30 attorneys and none of them have accepted her case. Id. Plaintiff 21 has not been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this matter. Id. The Complaint was 22 removed to this Court on April 24, 2017, and Defendant has appeared through its counsel. See 23 Dkt. #1. Although it is not typical for defendants to respond to these types of applications for 24 appointment of counsel, Defendant has opposed the motion, and argues that the Court should 25 26 deny the request because Plaintiff’s claims are likely to be denied on the merits. Dkt. #11. 27 In civil cases, the appointment of counsel to a pro se litigant “is a privilege and not a 28 right.” United States ex. Rel. Gardner v. Madden, 352 F.2d 792, 793 (9th Cir. 1965) (citation ORDER PAGE - 1 1 omitted). “Appointment of counsel should be allowed only in exceptional cases.” Id. (citing 2 Weller v. Dickson, 314 F.2d 598 (9th Cir. 1963)). A court must consider together “both the 3 likelihood of success on the merits and the ability of the petitioner to articulate his claims pro 4 se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved.” Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 5 954 (9th Cir. 1983). Even where the claim is not frivolous, counsel is often unwarranted where 6 7 8 9 10 the litigant’s chances of success are extremely slim. See Mars v. Hanberry, 752 F.2d 254, 256 (6th Cir. 1985). At this early stage of the litigation, the Court cannot find that Plaintiff is entitled to appointment of counsel. It does not yet appear that any exceptional circumstances exist, and 11 there is no record before the Court that would allow the Court to examine whether Plaintiff's 12 13 claims appear to have merit. In addition, Title VII does not provide an automatic right to 14 counsel for employment discrimination claims. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1). 15 Accordingly, the Court hereby finds and ORDERS that Plaintiff’s Motion to Appoint 16 Counsel (Dkt. #8) is DENIED without prejudice. This Order does not preclude Plaintiff from 17 18 19 20 re-filing her Motion once a factual record pertaining to her claims has been more fully developed. DATED this 31 day of May, 2017. 21 A 22 23 RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 24 25 26 27 28 ORDER PAGE - 2

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