Duron v. Beatty et al

Northern District of California, cand-4:2015-cv-03015

ORDER by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers denying {{32}} Motion to Appoint Counsel.

Interested in this case?

Current View

Full Text

1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 MOSES J. DURON, 7 Case No. 15-cv-03015-YGR (PR) Plaintiff, 8 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR v. APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL 9 GEORGE BEATTY, et al., 10 Defendants. 11 12 Plaintiff has filed a motion for appointment of counsel to represent him in this action. Northern District of California United States District Court 13 There is no constitutional right to counsel in a civil case unless an indigent litigant may lose his 14 physical liberty if he loses the litigation. See Lassiter v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 452 U.S. 18, 25 15 (1981); Rand v. Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997) (no constitutional right to counsel 16 in § 1983 action), withdrawn in part on other grounds on reh'g en banc, 154 F.3d 952 (9th Cir. 17 1998) (en banc). The court may ask counsel to represent an indigent litigant under 28 U.S.C. 18 § 1915 only in "exceptional circumstances," the determination of which requires an evaluation of 19 both (1) the likelihood of success on the merits, and (2) the ability of the plaintiff to articulate his 20 claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved. See id. at 1525; Terrell v. 21 Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991); Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th 22 Cir. 1986). Both of these factors must be viewed together before reaching a decision on a request 23 for counsel under section 1915. See id. 24 The Court is unable to assess at this time whether exceptional circumstances exist which 25 would warrant seeking volunteer counsel to accept a pro bono appointment. The proceedings are 26 at an early stage and it is premature for the Court to determine Plaintiff's likelihood of success on 27 the merits. Moreover, Plaintiff has been able to articulate his claims adequately pro se in light of 28 the complexity of the issues involved. See Agyeman v. Corrs. Corp. of Am., 390 F.3d 1101, 1103 1 (9th Cir. 2004). Accordingly, the request for appointment of counsel is DENIED without 2 prejudice. This does not mean, however, that the Court will not consider appointment of counsel 3 at a later juncture in the proceedings; that is, after Defendants have filed their dispositive motion 4 such that the Court will be in a better position to consider the procedural and substantive matters at 5 issue. Therefore, Plaintiff may file a renewed motion for the appointment of counsel after 6 Defendants' dispositive motion has been filed. If the Court decides that appointment of counsel is 7 warranted at that time, it will seek volunteer counsel to agree to represent Plaintiff pro bono. 8 This Order terminates Docket. No. 32. 9 IT IS SO ORDERED. 10 Dated: May 10, 2018 ______________________________________ YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS 11 United States District Court Judge 12 Northern District of California United States District Court 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2