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Ransom v. Duncan

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA FRESNO DIVISION


August 24, 2009

BRYAN G. RANSOM, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DUNCAN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF CDCR, JOHN DOES 1-10, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Edward F. Shea United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL and SETTING RESPONSE DEADLINE

Before the Court is pro se state prisoner Plaintiff Bryan G. Ransom's Motion for Appointment of Counsel. (Ct. Rec. 25.) Plaintiff requests appointment of counsel pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) because of medical conditions and resulting pain and medicinal side-effects. The Court previously-ordered Plaintiff to supplement his request with medical documentation. Plaintiff did so.*fn1

Section 1915 does not provide a court with authority to require an attorney to represent a plaintiff. Mallard v. U.S. Dist. Ct. for the S. Dist. of Iowa, 490 U.S. 296, 298 (1989). A court may, however, request that an attorney represent a pro se plaintiff under exceptional circumstances. Rand v. Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997). In determining whether "exceptional circumstances exist, the district court must evaluate both the likelihood of success of the merits [and] the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved." Id. (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

Notwithstanding Plaintiff's diagnosed Hepatitis C and resulting pain and physical limitations, the Court concludes that exceptional circumstances do not exist to request that an attorney represent Plaintiff. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1); see Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991). Plaintiff's limitations did not preclude him from presenting well-articulated claims in his complaint. In addition, a cursory review of the Eastern District of California's electronic case management system, reflects that Plaintiff has brought over fifteen cases in this district. Accordingly, Plaintiff is experienced with the district's local rules, as well as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Under the circumstances, the Court concludes Plaintiff, if given additional time to prepare his filings, can adequately pursue his straightforward Eighth Amendment claims and that exceptional circumstances do not exist.

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

1. Plaintiff's Motion for an Enlargement of Time (Ct. Rec. 31) is GRANTED.

2. Plaintiff's Motion for Appointment of Counsel (Ct. Rec. 25) is DENIED.

3. Plaintiff'S response to Defendant's June 22, 2009 Motion to Dismiss (Ct. Rec. 29) shall be filed no later than September 18, 2009.

IT IS SO ORDERED. The District Court Executive is directed to enter this Order and provide a copy to Plaintiff and counsel.


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