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Gipbsin v. Kernan

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


May 29, 2009

CLARENCE A. GIPBSIN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SCOTT KERNAN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

ORDER

Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He has requested that the court appoint counsel. District courts lack authority to require counsel to represent indigent prisoners in section 1983 cases. Mallard v. United States Dist. Court, 490 U.S. 296, 298 (1989). In exceptional circumstances, the court may request counsel voluntarily to represent such a plaintiff. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1); Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991); Wood v. Housewright, 900 F.2d 1332, 1335-36 (9th Cir. 1990). Here, plaintiff has provided the court with documentation indicating that on January 11, 2007, a Lassen County Superior Court judge issued an order directing that plaintiff be committed to the Department of Mental Health for placement in a state hospital because plaintiff had been found mentally incompetent to stand trial in his criminal proceedings. It appears that on or around May 15, 2009, plaintiff was transferred to the Salinas Valley Psychiatric Program at Salinas Valley State Prison. Docket Nos. 126, 127. Notwithstanding these circumstances, plaintiff has been able to articulate his claims in this action and the court finds that there are no exceptional circumstances in this case. See Wood, 900 F.2d at 1335.

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's November 26, 2008, January 26, 2009, and May 6 and 15, 2009 requests for appointment of counsel are denied.

20090529

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