Brunson v. Rogers

Filing 10

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION FOR COURT-APPOINTED COUNSEL signed by Hon. James P. Donohue. The Court grants plaintiff additional time to respond to the Order to Show Cause and is directed to file any response not later than August 11, 2017. (cc: plaintiff)(ST)

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 6 7 8 KEVIN JOE BRUNSON, Plaintiff, 9 10 11 Case No. C17-759-JLR-JPD v. JAMES ROGER, Detective, Seattle Police Department, 12 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S APPLICATION FOR COURTAPPOINTED COUNSEL Defendant. 13 14 This is a civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This matter comes 15 before the Court at the present time on plaintiff’s application for court-appointed counsel. The 16 Court, having reviewed plaintiff’s application, and the balance of the record, hereby ORDERS as 17 follows: 18 (1) Plaintiff’s application for court-appointed counsel (Dkt. 9) is DENIED. There is 19 no right to have counsel appointed in cases brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Although the 20 Court, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1), can request counsel to represent a party proceeding in 21 forma pauperis, the Court may do so only in exceptional circumstances. Wilborn v. Escalderon, 22 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1236 (9th Cir. 1984); 23 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S APPLICATION FOR COURT-APPOINTED COUNSEL - 1 1 Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089 (9th Cir. 1980). A finding of exceptional circumstances 2 requires an evaluation of both the likelihood of success on the merits and the ability of the 3 plaintiff to articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved. 4 Wilborn, 789 F.2d at 1331. 5 Plaintiff asserts in his civil rights complaint that the defendant improperly seized property 6 belonging to plaintiff, which is unrelated to the investigation or prosecution of any criminal 7 offense, and plaintiff asks that the property be returned to him. (See Dkt. 6 at 3-4.) After 8 reviewing plaintiff’s complaint, this Court concluded that plaintiff had not stated any claim upon 9 which relief could be granted under § 1983. This Court therefore issued an Order directing 10 plaintiff to show cause why this action should not be dismissed. (Dkt. 7.) Plaintiff has not filed 11 a response to the Order to Show Cause but has, instead, asked that counsel be appointed to 12 represent him in this matter. However, as the record now stands, it appears unlikely that plaintiff 13 will succeed on the merits of this case for the reasons identified in the Order to Show Cause. 14 Plaintiff has demonstrated no inability to articulate his claim, he simply has no viable claim to 15 assert based on the facts alleged. Thus, plaintiff has not demonstrated that this case involves 16 exceptional circumstances which warrant appointment of counsel. 17 (2) As it appears plaintiff filed his application for court-appointed in lieu of a 18 response to the Order to Show Cause, and as plaintiff’s request for counsel has now been denied, 19 the Court deems it appropriate to grant plaintiff some additional time to respond to the Order to 20 Show Cause should he desire to do so. Accordingly, plaintiff is directed to file any response to 21 the Order to Show Cause not later than August 11, 2017. Failure to timely file such a response 22 23 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S APPLICATION FOR COURT-APPOINTED COUNSEL - 2 1 will result in a recommendation that this action be dismissed for failure to prosecute and for 2 failure to state any claim upon which relief may be granted. 3 (3) 4 James L. Robart. 5 6 7 8 The Clerk is directed to send copies of this Order to plaintiff and to the Honorable DATED this 17th day of July, 2017. A JAMES P. DONOHUE Chief United States Magistrate Judge 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S APPLICATION FOR COURT-APPOINTED COUNSEL - 3

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