Ashby v. Berryhill

Filing 8

ORDER denying 6 Motion to Appoint Counsel signed by Judge David W. Christel. (Copy of Order mailed to plaintiff via U.S. Mail.)(SH)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 8 9 10 DOUGLAS JAMES ASHBY, 11 12 13 Plaintiff, CASE NO. 2:17-CV-01576-DWC ORDER DENYING MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL v. NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, 14 Defendant. 15 16 Plaintiff Douglas James Ashby, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this action 17 pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). See Dkt. 1, 2, 3. Currently pending in this case is Plaintiff’s 18 Application for Court-Appointed Counsel. Dkt. 6. 19 In “exceptional circumstances,” a district court may appoint counsel for indigent civil 20 litigants pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) (formerly 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d)). Terrell v. Brewer, 21 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991); Rand v. Roland, 113F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), 22 overruled on other grounds, 154 F.3d 952 (9th Cir. 1998); see 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). To decide 23 whether exceptional circumstances exist, the Court must evaluate both “the likelihood of success 24 on the merits [and] the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the ORDER DENYING MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL - 1 1 complexity of the legal issues involved.” Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 2 1986) (quoting Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983)). A plaintiff must plead 3 facts showing he has an insufficient grasp of his case or the legal issues involved and an 4 inadequate ability to articulate the factual basis of his claims. Agyeman v. Corrections Corp. of 5 America, 390 F.3d 1101, 1103 (9th Cir. 2004). 6 Here, Plaintiff submitted an Application for Court-Appointed Counsel form indicating he 7 has contacted at two attorneys regarding this case and was advised they would not represent him 8 because of a defaulted student loan. Dkt. 6. Plaintiff provides no reasons explaining why he 9 needs court-appointed counsel. Id. The Court notes this case does not involve complex facts or 10 law, and Plaintiff has not shown an inability to articulate the factual basis of his claims in a 11 fashion understandable to the Court. Plaintiff has also not shown he is likely to succeed on the 12 merits of his case. 13 As Plaintiff has not shown exceptional circumstances exist in this case, Plaintiff’s 14 Application for Court-Appointed Counsel is denied without prejudice. 15 Dated this 27th day of October, 2017. A 16 17 David W. Christel United States Magistrate Judge 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 ORDER DENYING MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL - 2

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