IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
April 14, 2011
JULIUS ANDERSON, PLAINTIFF,
J. THOMAS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He has requested that the court appoint counsel. District courts lack authority to require counsel to represent indigent prisoners in section 1983 cases. Mallard v. United States Dist. Court, 490 U.S. 296, 298 (1989). In exceptional circumstances, the court may request counsel voluntarily to represent such a plaintiff. 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). "'A finding of exceptional circumstances requires an evaluation of both the likelihood of success on the merits and the ability of the petitioner to articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved. Neither of these factors is dispositive and both must be viewed together before reaching a decision.'" Terrell, 935 F.2d at 1017, quoting Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986). Here plaintiff claims that he lacks the ability to prosecute his claims effectively not due to their complexity but rather due to his physical disability. However, plaintiff has effectively litigated up until this point (apparently with the assistance of a fellow inmate), filing numerous motions and amended pleadings with the court. Thus, court finds that there are no exceptional circumstances in this case.
Should plaintiff's disability make it difficult to file papers with the court within the deadlines provided, plaintiff may seek extensions of time from the court.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's March 28, 2011 and April 11, 2011 requests for appointment of counsel are denied.
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