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Juan Munoz v. M. Fredrick

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


April 1, 2011

JUAN MUNOZ,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
M. FREDRICK, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irma E. Gonzalez, Chief Judge United States District Court

[ ECF No. 98]

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL

CDCR #D-52837,

Plaintiff, an inmate currently incarcerated at Kern Valley State Prison located in Delano, California, and proceeding pro se, has filed an action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff has now filed a second "Motion for Appointment of Counsel." [ECF No. 98]. "[T]here is no absolute right to counsel in civil proceedings." Hedges v. Resolution Trust Corp. (In re Hedges), 32 F.3d 1360, 1363 (9th Cir. 1994) (citation omitted). "Title 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) permits the district court, in its discretion, to 'request an attorney to represent any person unable to afford counsel.'" Solis v. County of Los Angeles, 514 F.3d 946, 958 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1)). Such discretion may be exercised upon a showing of exceptional circumstances.

See Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991); Burns v. County of King, 883 F.2d 819, 823 (9th Cir. 1989). "To show exceptional circumstances the litigant must demonstrate the likelihood of success and complexity of the legal issues involved." Burns, 883 F.2d at 823 (citation omitted). Neither the likelihood of success nor the complexity of the case are dispositive; both must be considered. Terrell, 935 F.2d at 1017.

Here, it appears that at this stage of the proceedings, Plaintiff has a sufficient grasp of his case, the legal issues involved, and is able to adequately articulate the factual basis of his claims. Just recently, Plaintiff successfully moved to reopen this matter after judgment had been entered on behalf of Defendants. Under these circumstances, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's Motion for Appointment of Counsel [ECF No. 98] without prejudice at this time.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20110401

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