Willis v. Kiser et al

Filing 11

ORDER Denying 6 Motion for Appointment of Counsel, signed by Magistrate Judge J Richard Creatura.**3 PAGES, PRINT ALL**(Darrel Willis, Prisoner ID: 854804)(GMR)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 8 9 10 DARREL PATRICK WILLIS, 11 Plaintiff, 12 13 14 CASE NO. 3:17-CV-05373-BHS-JRC ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL v. NICK KISER, Defendant. 15 The District Court has referred this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights action to United States 16 Magistrate Judge J. Richard Creatura pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and (B), and local 17 Magistrate Judge Rules MJR1, MJR3 and MJR4. 18 Currently before the Court is plaintiff’s motion for appointment of counsel. Dkt. 6. 19 Plaintiff asks that the Court assign counsel or “some type of legal assistance” because he has no 20 access to the law library and no legal education. Id. However, this case has no hearings 21 scheduled and plaintiff indicates no other exceptional circumstance warranting the appointment 22 of counsel at this time. The Court denies the motion without prejudice. 23 24 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL - 1 1 2 DISCUSSION No constitutional right to appointed counsel exists in a § 1983 action. Storseth v. 3 Spellman, 654 F.2d 1349, 1353 (9th Cir. 1981). However, in “exceptional circumstances,” a 4 district court may appoint counsel for indigent civil litigants pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) 5 (formerly 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d)). Rand v. Roland, 113F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), overruled 6 on other grounds, 154 F.3d 952 (9th Cir. 1998). To decide whether exceptional circumstances 7 exist, the Court must evaluate both “the likelihood of success on the merits [and] the ability of 8 the [plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues 9 involved.” Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986) (quoting Weygandt v. 10 Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983)). A plaintiff must plead facts showing he has an 11 insufficient grasp of his case or the legal issues involved and an inadequate ability to articulate 12 the factual basis of his claims. Agyeman v. Corrections Corp. of America, 390 F.3d 1101, 1103 13 (9th Cir. 2004). 14 Plaintiff’s motion states that he is confused and unsure how to proceed with his case. Dkt. 15 6. He states that “[a]ll of the public information is disappearing” and he does not know how to 16 request or unseal records. Id. However, mere confusion is not an exceptional circumstance. 17 Plaintiff has adequately articulated the facts in his case. Dkt. 5. Though he is unsure of the valid 18 legal standard, he clearly and concisely explained the scenario underlying his claim. Id. He is 19 able to adequately articulate his claims, even if he is unclear on the legal standard. See Agyeman, 20 390 F.3d at 1103. In addition, plaintiff has not demonstrated a likelihood of success on the 21 merits. As it stands, plaintiff has not included facts amounting to his claimed First Amendment 22 violation, nor has he claimed any other constitutional violation. Dkt. 5. Because of this, 23 plaintiff’s allegations in his motion do not amount to an exceptional circumstance. 24 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL - 2 1 2 3 4 CONCLUSION For the reasons stated, the Court denies plaintiff’s motion for appointment of counsel without prejudice (Dkt. 6). Dated this 7th day of August, 2017. 5 6 A 7 J. Richard Creatura United States Magistrate Judge 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL - 3

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?