IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
May 6, 2011
DANNY MCDOWELL, PLAINTIFF,
J.L. BISHOP, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gregory G. Hollows United States Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff has requested the appointment of counsel. 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). In the present case, the court does not find the required exceptional circumstances. Plaintiff's motion for the appointment of counsel will therefore be denied.
The court notes that near the end of his motion, plaintiff requests appointment of an expert witness. Plaintiff correctly cites authority which permits the court, in its discretion, to appoint experts. The substance of plaintiff's request is simply a generalized belief that an expert (in some undisclosed area of expertise) would be able to aid plaintiff in his claims. Moreover, plaintiff's incessant claims that copies of a video pertinent to his claims, and now apparently the original itself, have been altered are supported only by plaintiff's own statements that the events which "truly" happened are not reflected in the video. The court refuses to appoint an expert on such a conclusionary basis. There is no cause for appointment of an expert witness at this time.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff's April 29, 2011 motion for the appointment of counsel is denied.
2. Plaintiff's request for appointment of an independent expert is denied without prejudice to renewal in plaintiff's pretrial statement.
Gregory G. Hollows
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