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Olea v. San Diego County Sheriff

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


July 28, 2010

HERMELINDO OLEA, CDCR #AA-5972, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY SHERIFF, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Barbara L. Major United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL [Doc. No. 14]

On July 21, 2010, Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se , moved this Court to appoint counsel. ECF No. 14. In support of his motion, Plaintiff states that he "[doesn't] know the law in order to respond by way of documents." Id. For the following reasons, Plaintiff's motion is DENIED.

The Constitution provides no right to appointment of counsel in a civil case unless an indigent litigant may lose his physical liberty if he loses the litigation. Lassiter v. Dep't of Soc. , 452 U.S. 18, 25 (1981). However, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1), courts are granted discretion to appoint counsel for indigent persons under "exceptional circumstances." Agyeman v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 390 F.3d 1101, 1103 (9th Cir. 2004). A finding of exceptional circumstances demands at least "an evaluation of the likelihood of the plaintiff's success on the merits and an evaluation of the plaintiff's ability to articulate his claims 'in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved.'" Id. (quoting Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986)).

Thus far, Plaintiff has drafted and submitted numerous pleadings and motions without the assistance of counsel. In addition to the instant motion, he has submitted a complaint (ECF No. 1), a motion to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 2), a first amended complaint (ECF No. 8), and a motion for extension of time to file a second amended complaint (ECF No. 11).

From the Court's review of these documents, it is apparent that Plaintiff is able to articulate the claims of his case. Further, Plaintiff does not demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits such that his case should be classified as an "exceptional circumstance[]." Agyeman, 390 F.3d at 1103; see also Wilborn, 789 F.2d at 1331. Because Plaintiff has not alleged the requisite "exceptional circumstances" at this time, the Court therefore DENIES without prejudice Plaintiff's request for appointment of counsel.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20100728

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