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Benjamin v. Lawson

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


June 24, 2009

LEROY BENJAMIN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CAROLYN A. LAWSON, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Craig M. Kellison United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the court are plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel (Doc. 24) and motion for an extension of time (Doc. 25).

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that district courts lack authority to require counsel to represent indigent prisoners in § 1983 cases. See Mallard v. United States Dist. Court, 490 U.S. 296, 298 (1989). In certain exceptional circumstances, the court may request the voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). See Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991); Wood v. Housewright, 900 F.2d 1332, 1335-36 (9th Cir. 1990). In the present case, the court does not at this time find the required exceptional circumstances.

Plaintiff seeks an extension of time to provide the court with information sufficient to locate and serve defendant Lawson. In his motion, plaintiff states that he is awaiting a response to his letter requesting information under the California Public Records Act. Good cause appearing therefor, the request is granted.

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

1. Plaintiff's request for the appointment of counsel (Doc. 24) is denied;

2. Plaintiff's request for an extension of time (Doc. 25) is granted; and

2. Plaintiff shall promptly seek additional information sufficient to effect service on defendant Lawson and notify the court within 60 days of the date of this order.

20090624

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