IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
June 26, 2009
RAY ANTHONY STEVENS, PLAINTIFF,
Pending before the court is plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel, currently set to be heard on July 31, 2009. The court does not believe oral argument will be helpful in this matter and therefore vacates the hearing.
Three factors are relevant to the determination of whether counsel should be appointed to represent a plaintiff in an employment discrimination case such as this one: (1) the plaintiff's financial resources, (2) the efforts already made by the plaintiff to secure counsel, and (3) whether the plaintiff's claims have merit. Bradshaw v. Zoological Soc'y of San Diego, 662 F.2d 1301, 1318 (9th Cir. 1981). Appointment of counsel is not a matter of right. Ivey v. Board of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 269 (9th Cir. 1982).
Here, the court previously granted plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis. Plaintiff has made an adequate showing of indigency, thereby satisfying the first relevant factor. Plaintiff has submitted a declaration in which he states that he visited the McGeorge School of Law Community Legal Services Clinic, Legal Services of Northern California, York Law Corporation, and the law offices of William T. Yankey between February 4 and June 4, 2009 and that each refused his request for representation in this case. Plaintiff has made a showing of efforts made to secure counsel prior to and after filing this action.
As to the third factor, the court has reviewed the allegations of plaintiff's complaint. Plaintiff alleges that the defendant refused to consider him for the position of machine operator because of a past criminal conviction of a felony DUI, without taking into consideration the circumstances of the offense and its relevance to the job plaintiff applied for. Plaintiff contends that defendant denied him an equal employment opportunity and discriminated against him on the basis of his race. In his motion, plaintiff argues that defendant's policy of not hiring any person convicted of a criminal offense has a racially discriminatory effect. While the court has not prejudged plaintiff's case, the court finds that plaintiff has not shown that his claims have merit such that counsel should be appointed at this time.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to appoint counsel (Doc. No. 6) is denied without prejudice, and the hearing of the motion, currently set for July 31, 2009, is vacated.
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