Gahano v. Langford et al
ORDER REASSIGNING MAGISTRATE JUDGE AND APPOINTING COUNSEL. The Court sua sponte refers this matter to Magistrate Judge Michelle L. Peterson for all further proceedings. All future documents shall bear the case number C20-5451-MJP-MLP. The Court als o reconsiders sua sponte Plaintiff's 8 Motion to Appoint Counsel. The Court GRANTS Plaintiff's motion (Dkt. No. 8 ) and refers this matter to Pro Bono Panel to represent Plaintiff. After that, the Court will issue an order appointing an attorney, should one be identified. Signed by Judge Marsha J. Pechman. (PM) cc: Plaintiff via USPS
Case 3:20-cv-05451-MJP-MLP Document 39 Filed 01/07/21 Page 1 of 2
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
DENGE LEMO GAHANO,
CASE NO. C20-5451 MJP-MLP
MAGISTRATE JUDGE AND
STEPHEN LANGFORD, et al.,
The Court sua sponte refers this matter to Magistrate Judge Michelle L. Peterson for all
further proceedings. The Court does so to conserve judicial resources given that Magistrate
Judge Peterson is already assigned to another matter that Plaintiff Gahano pursues (C20-1094-
MJP-MLP). All future documents shall bear the case number C20-5451-MJP-MLP.
The Court also reconsiders sua sponte Plaintiff’s Motion to Appoint Counsel, which was
previously denied without prejudice. (Dkt. No. 24.)
“In proceedings in forma pauperis, the district court ‘may request an attorney to represent
any person unable to afford counsel’”—a decision within the Court’s sound discretion. Agyeman
ORDER REASSIGNING MAGISTRATE JUDGE AND APPOINTING COUNSEL - 1
Case 3:20-cv-05451-MJP-MLP Document 39 Filed 01/07/21 Page 2 of 2
v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 390 F.3d 1101, 1103 (9th Cir. 2004) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1)). In
considering a motion to appoint counsel, the Court must evaluate both “the likelihood of success
on the merits [and] the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the
complexity of the legal issues involved.” Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir.
1986) (quoting Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983)).
The Court finds that appointing counsel is appropriate at this stage of the proceedings.
The Court previously denied Plaintiff’s motion to appoint counsel, finding that Plaintiff could
articulate his claims pro se, that the first amended complaint’s allegations were not complex, and
that there was not a likelihood of success on the merits. (Dkt. No. 24.) Plaintiff has now filed a
Second Amended Complaint, which raises more complex issues of law and fact, and which could
also implicate issues in Plaintiff’s pending § 2241 habeas case (C20-1094 MJP-MLP) in which
Plaintiff also seeks appointment of counsel. A review of the Second Amended Complaint
suggests that there is some likelihood of success on the merits. And the Court finds that
appointed counsel would considerably assist in the efficient prosecution of this matter. The Court
therefore GRANTS Plaintiff’s motion (Dkt. No. 8) and refers this matter to Pro Bono Panel to
represent Plaintiff. After that, the Court will issue an order appointing an attorney, should one be
The clerk is ordered to provide copies of this order to all counsel.
Dated January 6, 2021.
Marsha J. Pechman
United States District Judge
ORDER REASSIGNING MAGISTRATE JUDGE AND APPOINTING COUNSEL - 2
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