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Cook v. California Dep't of Corrections

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


August 27, 2009

KEYAWN COOK, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

ORDER

Plaintiff has filed a second motion for the appointment of counsel.*fn1 By the instant motion, plaintiff seeks appointment of a specific individual to represent him. Plaintiff has not appended anything to his motion that indicates whether the identified individual is an attorney, or whether, if he is, he would accept such appointment. In that regard, the court notes that plaintiff appended to his April 22, 2009 motion for appointment of counsel a letter from the law firm referred to in the instant motion advising plaintiff they were "unable to be of assistance to [plaintiff]." Ex. to April 22, 2009 Motion for Appointment of Counsel. Moreover, the individual identified in the present motion is identified as a "staff support" person on the firm's letterhead; it is unclear whether he is an attorney. Id.

As noted in this court's May 6, 2009 order, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that district courts lack authority to require counsel to represent indigent prisoners in § 1983 cases. 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). Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991); Wood v. Housewright, 900 F.2d 1332, 1335-36 (9th Cir. 1990). The court still does not find the required exceptional circumstances, nor has plaintiff shown that the individual for whom he seeks appointment is either an attorney or willing to represent him. For these reasons, plaintiff's motion will be denied.

In accordance with the above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's July 24, 2009 motion for reconsideration is construed as a second motion for appointment of counsel and, so construed, is denied.


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