UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
January 23, 2008
ALBERT WILSON, PLAINTIFF,
MEDICAL TECHNICAL ASSISTANT IRVIN; JOHN DOE #1, UNKNOWN NAMED C.D.C. CORRECTIONAL OFFICER; JOHN DOE #2, UNKNOWN NAMED C.D.C. PHYSICIAN; AND JOHN DOE #3, AS OF YET UNIDENTIFIED CO-DEFENDANT, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Dana M. Sabraw United States District Judge
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL [Docket No. 16]
Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, has filed a request for appointment of counsel to assist him in serving his Complaint. The Constitution provides no right to appointment of counsel in a civil case unless an indigent litigant may lose his physical liberty if he loses the litigation. Lassiter v. Dept. of Social Services, 452 U.S. 18, 25 (1981). Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1), however, district courts are granted discretion to appoint counsel for indigent persons under "exceptional circumstances." Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991).
A finding of exceptional circumstances requires an evaluation of 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." Neither of these issues is dispositive and both must be viewed together before reaching a decision.
Id. (quoting Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986)).
Here, it appears Plaintiff has a sufficient grasp of his case, the legal issues involved, and is able to adequately articulate the basis of his Complaint. Although Plaintiff is having difficulty effecting service of process, he has not explained how counsel could assist with that effort, or how that provides a legal basis for the appointment of counsel. Under these circumstances, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's request. LaMere v. Risley, 827 F.2d 622, 626 (9th Cir. 1987).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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