IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
July 27, 2011
ROBERT L. THEEDE, PLAINTIFF,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
Plaintiff, Robert Theede, is proceeding in this action pro se and in forma pauperis. This matter was referred to the undersigned in accordance with Local Rule 72-302(c)(21) and 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
On June 23, 2011, plaintiff's original complaint was dismissed and plaintiff was granted thirty days to file an amended complaint. (Doc. No. 4.) On July 18, 2011, plaintiff filed a motion for the appointment of counsel and a motion for a sixty-day extension of time to file an amended complaint. (Doc. Nos. 5 & 6.)
Plaintiff is informed that federal district courts lack authority to require counsel to represent indigent plaintiffs in civil cases. See Mallard v. United States Dist. Court, 490 U.S. 296, 298 (1989). The court may request the voluntary assistance of counsel under the federal in forma pauperis statute, but only under exceptional circumstances. See 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 plaintiff's ability to articulate his or her claims. See Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986); Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983). Here, there is not a pending complaint from which the court could considered plaintiff's likelihood of success on the merits. Accordingly, plaintiff's request for the appointment of counsel will be denied without prejudice to refilling.
With respect to plaintiff's request for an additional sixty days to file an amended complaint, plaintiff states the such an extension is warranted because in dismissing his original complaint the court "cited multiple cases and U.S. Codes, that need be addressed, prior to a filing of an Amended Complaint." (Mot. for EOT. (Doc. No. 6) at 2.) While the court is sympathetic to the amount of work that goes into the drafting of an amended complaint, such considerations were factored into the court's June 23, 2011 decision to grant plaintiff thirty days to file an amended complaint.*fn1 Nonetheless, in the interest of justice, plaintiff will be granted thirty days from the date of this order to file his amended complaint.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff's July 18, 2011 motion for appointment of counsel (Doc. No. 5) is denied without prejudice to refilling;
2. Plaintiff's July 18, 2011 motion for an extension of time (Doc. No. 6) is granted;
3. Plaintiff shall file his amended complaint within thirty (30) days of the date of this order; and
4. Failure to respond to this order in a timely manner may result in a recommendation that this action be dismissed.