IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
February 10, 2011
WILLIAM L. BEEM, PLAINTIFF,
CRAIG, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff is a former prison inmate (recently paroled) proceeding without counsel and in forma pauperis with a civil rights action. On January 28, 2011, plaintiff filed his third motion for appointment of counsel, on the ground that he requires assistance in responding to defendants' outstanding discovery requests. Plaintiff's previous motions for appointment of counsel, filed on January 4, 2010, and January 7, 2011, were denied. As the court stated most recently, relative to the discovery requests that remain outstanding (Dkt. No. 23, at 3-4):
The court continues to find that the instant case does not present exceptional circumstances warranting the solicitation and appointment of counsel. The relevant facts appear to be limited and straightforward, and the potentially cognizable legal claims are based on well-established principles. Plaintiff's situation is not unlike that of most prisoners, who must learn the litigation process as their case proceeds. Moreover, in this case, as in all prisoner civil rights cases, the court issues detailed and informative orders setting forth the pertinent rules and requirements. In addition, defendants' discovery requests are, for the most part, straightforward. Thus, plaintiff's request for appointment of counsel will again be denied.
The same rationale supports the denial of plaintiff's instant motion. As the court previously noted, district courts lack authority to require counsel to represent indigent civil rights litigants. Mallard v. United States District Court, 490 U.S. 296, 298 (1989). The court will request the voluntary assistance of counsel, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1), only in exceptional circumstances, Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991); Wood v. Housewright, 900 F.2d 1332, 1335-36 (9th Cir. 1990), not present in the instant motion.
Plaintiff should respond to defendants' discovery requests (Defendants' Request for Production of Documents, Set One, and Defendants' Interrogatories, Set One) to the best of his ability. The current deadline to respond to the discovery requests of February 18, 2011, is extended to and including Friday, March 4, 2011. No further extension requests shall be granted, absent extraordinary circumstances. As set forth in the court's prior order, plaintiff shall, on or before that date, serve (mail) his responses to each of defendants' discovery requests, without objection; that is, plaintiff shall provide written answers, without objection, to each of defendants' interrogatories, and shall provide copies of all documents in his possession that are sought by defendants' production requests.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff's January 28, 2011 motion for appointment of counsel (Dkt. No. 24) is denied; and
2. The deadline for service of plaintiff's responses to defendants' outstanding discovery requests is extended to March 4, 2011.
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