Griffin v. Herzog et al

Filing 75

ORDER denying 67 Motion to Appoint Counsel, signed by Magistrate Judge Theresa L Fricke.**2 PAGE(S), PRINT ALL**(Robert Griffin, Prisoner ID: 851075)(CMG)

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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 4 5 6 ROBERT DEAN GRIFFIN, Case No. 3:17-cv-05394-RBL-TLF 7 8 9 Plaintiff, v. ROBERT HERZOG, et al, Defendants. 10 11 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL This matter comes before the Court on plaintiff’s motion for appointment of counsel. 12 Dkt. 67. Having carefully considered that motion and balance of the record, the Court finds it 13 should be denied. 14 No constitutional right exists to appointed counsel in a § 1983 action. Storseth v. 15 Spellman, 654 F.2d 1349, 1353 (9th Cir. 1981); see also United States v. $292,888.04 in U.S. 16 Currency, 54 F.3d 564, 569 (9th Cir. 1995) (“[a]ppointment of counsel under this section is 17 discretionary, not mandatory.”). In “exceptional circumstances,” a district court may appoint 18 counsel for indigent civil litigants pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1)). Rand v. Roland, 113 F.3d 19 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds, 154 F.3d 952 (9th Cir. 1998) (emphasis 20 supplied.) 21 To decide whether exceptional circumstances exist, the Court must evaluate both “the 22 likelihood of success on the merits [and] the ability of the petitioner to articulate his claims pro 23 se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved.” Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 24 1331 (9th Cir. 1986) (quoting Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983)). A plaintiff 25 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL - 1 1 must plead facts that show he has an insufficient grasp of his case or the legal issue involved, and 2 an inadequate ability to articulate the factual basis of his claim. Agyeman v. Corrections Corp. of 3 America, 390 F.3d 1101, 1103 (9th Cir. 2004). That a pro se litigant may be better served with 4 the assistance of counsel is not the test. Rand, 113 F.3d at 1525. 5 Plaintiff requests appointment of counsel because he has a limited formal education, he 6 does not have extensive experience with the law, he is limited in his ability to litigate this matter 7 due to the fact of his incarceration, and the complexity of the issues involved. However, the first 8 three asserted bases for seeking appointment of counsel are factors applicable to all inmates, and 9 thus do not provide a valid basis for such appointment. Wood v. Housewright, 900 F.2d 1332, 10 11 1334-36 (9th Cir. 1990). Plaintiff also has not shown the issues in this matter are necessarily complex. Indeed, as 12 noted in the Report and Recommendation the undersigned has issued the same date herewith 13 recommending dismissal of this action, it is not at all clear what specific claims or issues plaintiff 14 is asserting. Nor do the many filings that plaintiff so far has submitted in this matter indicate an 15 inability to adequately represent himself pro se. Lastly, for the reasons set forth in the Report and 16 Recommendation, plaintiff is not able to establish a likelihood of success on the merits. 17 18 19 Accordingly, plaintiff’s motion for appointment of counsel (Dkt. 67) is DENIED. The Clerk shall send a copy of this Order to plaintiff and counsel for defendants. Dated this 16th day of October, 2017. 20 21 22 A 23 Theresa L. Fricke United States Magistrate Judge 24 25 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL - 2

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