IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
February 8, 2012
LEE THAO, PLAINTIFF,
KATHLEEN DICKINSON, DEFENDANT.
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, because the issues presented by the complaint are not complex, and plaintiff's lack of legal training or expertise are not exceptional. While plaintiff claims that he "is unable to obtain crucial evidence under discovery that only an attorney can obtain through cooperation," plaintiff is advised that he is entitled to discovery under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff's motion for the appointment of counsel will therefore be denied.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's December 20, 2011 motion for the appointment of counsel (Docket No. 12) is denied.
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