IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
July 27, 2011
ANTOINE L. HENDERSON, PLAINTIFF,
K. PURCELL, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a civil rights action, has requested 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 district 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).
The test for exceptional circumstances requires the court to evaluate the plaintiff's likelihood of success on the merits and the ability of the plaintiff to articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved. See Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986); Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983). Circumstances common to most prisoners, such as lack of legal education and limited law library access, do not establish exceptional circumstances that would warrant a request for voluntary assistance of counsel. In the present case, the court does not find the required exceptional circumstances.
Plaintiff has also filed a document styled "Motion for Objections." Therein, he states "Plaintiff requests this court for order of 'Objections to Magistrate Judge's Finding and Recommendations.' Dated on 7-12-11." It is not clear why plaintiff has filed this motion or what type of relief plaintiff seeks from the court. Accordingly, the court will deny the motion without prejudice.
In accordance with the above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel (Doc. No. 44) is denied; and
2. Plaintiff's "Motion for Objections" is (Doc. No. 45) denied without prejudice.
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