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Malik Jones v. J.L. Bishop

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


August 19, 2011

MALIK JONES,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
J.L. BISHOP, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justin L. Quackenbush Senior United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL

BEFORE THE COURT is Plaintiff's Motion for Appointment of Counsel (ECF No. 79). Plaintiff is a California state prisoner proceeding pro se who seeks relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged excessive use of force, failure to protect, and retaliation stemming from alleged incidents at the High Desert State Prison ("HDSP"). All remaining Defendants have finally been served and have Answered the Complaint, and according to the Scheduling Order (ECF No. 73) dispositive motions are due not later than November 1, 2011.

The motion now before the court is a renewed motion for the appointment of counsel which the court previously denied on October 22, 2009. ECF No. 14. As explained by the court earlier, 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). 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). At this time, the court finds this case does not meet the exceptional circumstances test. Accordingly, the Motion for Appointment of Counsel (ECF No. 79) is DENIED. If the Court subsequently determines appointment of counsel is warranted, the Court will seek volunteer counsel to represent Plaintiff.

The Clerk is hereby directed to enter this Order and furnish copies to Plaintiff and counsel.

Justin L. Quackenbush

20110819

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