Gallagher v. Department of Corrections of Washington et al
ORDER denying 32 Motion to Appoint Counsel signed by Judge Karen L Strombom.**2 PAGE(S), PRINT ALL**(Douglas Gallagher, Prisoner ID: 266279)(MET)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
DOUGLAS E GALLAGHER,
CASE NO. C16-5088-RBL-KLS
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et
Before the Court is Plaintiff Douglas Gallagher’s motion for the appointment of counsel.
Dkt 32. Mr. Gallagher states that he requires counsel to help him in his case because the issues
are complex, he has demanded a jury trial, he requires assistance with counsel, and he has no
legal education. Dkt. 32-1 at 1.
There is no right to have counsel appointed in cases brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Although the court, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d), can request counsel to represent a party
proceeding in forma pauperis, the court may do so only in exceptional circumstances. Wilborn
v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1236
(9th Cir. 1984); Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089 (9th Cir. 1980). A finding of exceptional
circumstances requires an evaluation of both the likelihood of success on the merits and the
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR COUNSEL- 1
1 ability of the plaintiff to articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues
2 involved. Wilborn, 789 F.2d at 1331. Neither of these factors is dispositive and both must be
3 viewed together before reaching a decision on request of counsel under Section 1915(d). Id.
Plaintiff has demonstrated an adequate ability to articulate his claims pro se but has not
5 demonstrated that the issues involved in this case are complex. Plaintiff’s incarceration and
6 limited legal training are not exceptional factors constituting exceptional circumstances that
7 warrant the appointment of counsel. Rather, they are the type of difficulties encountered by
8 many pro se litigants. Plaintiff has also not shown a likelihood of success on the merits. See,
9 e.g., Wilborn, 789 F.2d at 1331.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED:
Plaintiff’s motion for the appointment of counsel (Dkt. 32) is DENIED.
The Clerk of Court is directed to send a copy of this Order to plaintiff and to
13 counsel for defendants.
Dated this 18th day of January, 2017.
Karen L. Strombom
United States Magistrate Judge
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR COUNSEL- 2
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