Wierzchos v. Mendez et al

Filing 9

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE: Plaintiff is ORDERED TO SHOW CAUSE why the above-captioned matter should not be dismissed for improper venue under 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a). Plaintiff shall file her response on or before 12/8/2021. Signed by Judge Robert S. Lasnik. (LH) (cc: Plaintiff via US mail)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 _________________________________ ) ) ) Plaintiff, ) v. ) ) ANTHONY MENDEZ, et al., ) ) Defendants. ) _________________________________ ) DIANA WIERZCHOS, Case No. C21-1430RSL ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE On October 26, 2021, plaintiff’s complaint in the above-captioned matter was accepted 14 for filing, and plaintiff filed a motion for appointment of counsel. Plaintiff alleges that she was 15 forced to work for no pay at a Swarovski jewelry store in Palm Beach, Florida, in 2014. She 16 asserts federal claims regarding debt bondage, peonage, and/or involuntary servitude and seeks 17 to recover her back wages, expenses, and benefits. There is no indication that either defendant 18 resides in or has any connection with Washington. 19 Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b), civil actions in federal court may be brought, with 20 limited exceptions, only in the judicial district where defendants reside or in a judicial district in 21 which a substantial part of the events giving rise to the claim occurred. Because this action 22 apparently involves defendants who reside outside of Washington and involves conduct which 23 occurred in Florida, venue does not lie in this judicial district. Plaintiff is therefore ORDERED 24 TO SHOW CAUSE why the above-captioned matter should not be dismissed for improper 25 venue under 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a). Plaintiff shall file her response on or before December 8, 26 2021. The Clerk of Court is directed to note this Order to Show Cause on the Court’s calendar ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE 1 for Friday, December 10, 2021. Turning to plaintiff’s motion for appointment of counsel (Dkt. # 6), a person generally 2 3 has no right to counsel in civil actions. See Storseth v. Spellman, 654 F.2d 1349, 1353 (9th Cir. 4 1981). 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 However, a court may under "exceptional circumstances" appoint counsel for indigent civil litigants pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). Agyeman v. Corrs. Corp. of Am., 390 F.3d 1101, 1103 (9th Cir. 2004). When determining whether “exceptional circumstances” exist, a court must consider “the likelihood of success on the merits as well as the ability of the petitioner 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). Neither of these considerations is dispositive and instead must be viewed together. Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986). Palmer v. Valdez, 560 F.3d 965, 970 (9th Cir. 2009). In addition, the party seeking appointment of counsel must show indigency. Given the information provided in the complaint, it appears that plaintiff’s claims cannot succeed in this district. Even if the Court presumes that a statement of the law of peonage, debt bondage, and/or involuntary servitude is beyond plaintiff’s pro se capabilities, the residence of the parties and the location of the alleged wrongs are within her ability to articulate and appear to be dispositive. In addition, plaintiff has failed to provide any information regarding her finances that could support a finding of indigency. Plaintiff has not shown the sort of exceptional circumstances that justify appointment of counsel at the public’s expense. Dkt. # 6 is, therefore, DENIED. Dated this 17th day of November, 2021. 23 Robert S. Lasnik United States District Judge 24 25 26 ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE -2-

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