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Toni Levingston v. Bondoc

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


June 14, 2011

TONI LEVINGSTON,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
BONDOC, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael J. Seng United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING MOTIONS FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL (ECF Nos. 12 & 13)

On May 12, 2011 and May 19, 2011, Plaintiff filed Motions seeking the appointment of counsel.

Plaintiff does not have a constitutional right to appointed counsel in this action, Rand v. Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), and the court cannot require an attorney to represent plaintiff pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). Mallard v. United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 490 U.S. 296, 298, 109 S.Ct. 1814, 1816 (1989). In certain exceptional circumstances the court may request the voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to section 1915(e)(1). Rand, 113 F.3d at 1525. However, without a reasonable method of securing and compensating counsel, the Court will seek volunteer counsel only in the most serious and exceptional cases. In determining whether "exceptional circumstances exist, the district court must evaluate both the likelihood of success of the merits [and] the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved." Id. (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

In support of her Motions, Plaintiff contends that he has no legal training and is not knowledgeable about how to litigate. The Court does not find that these circumstances constitute the required exceptional circumstances. This Court is faced with similar cases filed by similarly untrained prisoners almost daily. Further, at this early stage in the proceedings, the Court cannot make a determination that Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits, and based on a review of the record in this case, the Court does not find that plaintiff cannot adequately articulate his claims. Id.

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff's Motions for the appointment of counsel are HEREBY DENIED, without prejudice.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

ci4d6

20110614

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