Borreggine v. ProKarma Inc et al

Filing 14

ORDER denying without prejudice Plaintiff's 6 Motion to Appoint Counsel. This Order does not preclude Plaintiff from refiling this Motion once a factual record pertaining to his claims has been more fully developed. Signed by Judge Ricardo S Martinez. (PM)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 6 7 8 PETER BORREGGINE, 9 Plaintiff, 10 11 v. PROKARMA, INC., et al., 12 Defendants. 13 ) ) CASE NO. C18-0336 RSM ) ) ) ORDER DENYING MOTION TO ) APPOINT COUNSEL ) ) ) ) 14 15 THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion to Appoint Counsel. Dkt. 16 #6. Plaintiff asks the Court to appoint counsel in this employment-related case on the basis that 17 he has contacted numerous attorneys and they have declined to take his case. Id. Plaintiff has 18 been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this matter. Dkt. #4. The Complaint was 19 20 filed on March 21, 2018, and summonses have recently been issued. 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 Plaintiff alleges that he suffered discriminatory employment termination on the basis of 4 his age, race and national origin. Dkt. #5. At this early stage of the litigation, the Court cannot 5 find that Plaintiff is entitled to appointment of counsel. It does not yet appear that any exceptional 6 7 circumstances exist, and there is no record before the Court that would allow the Court to 8 examine whether Plaintiff’s claims appear to have merit. Moreover, the Court also notes that 9 prior to filing his suit, Plaintiff made a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity 10 Commission (“EEOC”). The EEOC made no determination with respect to the alleged 11 discrimination; rather, it dismissed Plaintiff’s claims on the basis that he had signed a severance 12 13 agreement with a release and waiver. Dkt. #5. Ex. 7. Thus, it may be that this Court will not 14 have jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s claims. In addition, Title VII does not provide an automatic 15 right to counsel for employment discrimination claims. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1). . 16 Accordingly, the Court hereby finds and ORDERS that Plaintiff’s Motion to Appoint 17 18 19 20 Counsel (Dkt. #6) is DENIED without prejudice. This Order does not preclude Plaintiff from refiling this Motion once a factual record pertaining to his claims has been more fully developed. DATED this 13th day of April 2018. 21 A 22 RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 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?