Smith v. Colvin

Filing 2

ORDER granting in part and denying in part 1 GRANTING Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis; DENYING Motion to Appoint Counsel; signed by Judge Ronald B. Leighton.(DN) Modified on 1/25/2017 (DN). (cc to pltf)

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1 HONORABLE RONALD B. LEIGHTON 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 7 8 DUWANE SMITH, CASE NO. C17-5025-RBL 9 Plaintiff, 10 v. 11 ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IFP AND DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL CAROLYN W COLVIN, 12 Defendant. 13 14 THIS MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff Smith’s Motion to proceed in forma 15 pauperis, and his included Motion for the appointment of counsel. [Dkt. #1] The Motion to 16 proceed in forma pauperis is GRANTED. 17 It is the responsibility of plaintiff and plaintiff’s attorney to properly serve copies of 18 the complaint along with appropriate summonses as required by Rule 4 of the Federal 19 Rules of Civil Procedure. 20 An indigent plaintiff in a civil case has no constitutional right to counsel unless he may 21 lose his physical liberty if he loses the litigation. See Lassiter v. Dept. of Social Servs., 452 U.S. 22 18, 25 (1981). However, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1), the Court has discretion to appoint 23 24 ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IFP AND DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL - 1 1 counsel for indigent litigants who are proceeding in forma pauperis. United States v. 2 $292,888.04 in U.S. Currency, 54 F.3d 564, 569 (9th Cir. 1995). 3 The Court will appoint counsel only under “exceptional circumstances.” Id.; Wilborn v. 4 Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986). “A finding of exceptional circumstances 5 requires an evaluation of both the likelihood of success on the merits and the ability of the 6 plaintiff to articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved.” 7 Wilborn, 789 F.2d at 1331 (internal quotations omitted). These factors must be viewed together 8 before reaching a decision on whether to appoint counsel under § 1915(e)(1). Id. 9 The Plaintiff has articulated his claims, but he has not met the “exceptional 10 circumstances” standard for the appointment of counsel at public expense. He has not 11 demonstrated that he is likely to succeed on the merits of his claim. The Motion for Appointment 12 of Counsel is DENIED. 13 IT IS SO ORDERED. 14 Dated this 25th day of January, 2017. 16 A 17 Ronald B. Leighton United States District Judge 15 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO PROCEED IFP AND DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL - 2

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