Casterlow-Bey v. Jarmon

Filing 7

ORDER Denying 6 Motion for Court Appointed Counsel, signed by Magistrate Judge Theresa L Fricke. (GMR- cc: pltf)

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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 4 5 6 GARY CASTERLOW-BEY, Case No. C17-5647 BHS-TLF 7 8 9 10 Plaintiff, ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTED COUNSEL v. ANDREA JARMON, DEPARTMENT OF ASSIGNED COUNSEL, Defendants. 11 This matter comes before the Court on plaintiff’s motion for court-appointed counsel. 12 Dkt. 6. The Court finds that the appointment of counsel is not appropriate at this time. 13 No constitutional right to appointed counsel exists in a § 1983 action. Storseth v. 14 Spellman, 654 F.2d 1349, 1353 (9th Cir. 1981); see United States v. $292,888.04 in U.S. 15 Currency, 54 F.3d 564, 569 (9th Cir. 1995) (“[a]ppointment of counsel under this section is 16 discretionary, not mandatory”). However, in “exceptional circumstances,” a district court may 17 appoint counsel for indigent civil litigants pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) (formerly 28 18 U.S.C. § 1915(d)). Rand v. Roland, 113F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), overruled on other 19 grounds, 154 F.3d 952 (9th Cir. 1998). To decide whether exceptional circumstances exist, the 20 Court must evaluate both “the likelihood of success on the merits [and] the ability of the 21 [plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved.” 22 Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986) (quoting Weygandt v. Look, 718 23 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983)). A plaintiff must plead facts showing he has an insufficient grasp 24 25 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTED COUNSEL - 1 1 of his case or the legal issues involved and an inadequate ability to articulate the factual basis of 2 his claims. Agyeman v. Corrections Corp. of America, 390 F.3d 1101, 1103 (9th Cir. 2004). 3 At this time, the plaintiff has not shown, nor does the Court find, this case involves 4 complex facts or law. The plaintiff has also not shown he is likely to succeed on the merits of his 5 case. The Court is directing the plaintiff to amend his complaint because he has not stated a 6 claim for which relief can be granted. Further, the “plaintiff's incarceration and limited access to 7 legal materials are not exceptional factors constituting exceptional circumstances that warrant the 8 appointment of counsel. Rather, they are the type of difficulties encountered by many pro se 9 litigants.” Dancer v. Jeske, 2009 WL 1110432, *1 (W.D. Wash. Apr. 24, 2009). Therefore, the 10 11 12 13 Court finds the plaintiff has failed to show the appointment of counsel is appropriate at this time. Accordingly, the plaintiff’s motion (Dkt. 6) is DENIED without prejudice. The Clerk shall send a copy of this Order to the plaintiff. Dated this 29th day of August, 2017. 14 15 A 16 17 Theresa L. Fricke United States Magistrate Judge 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTED COUNSEL - 2

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