UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
May 2, 2013
RICHARD MAQUINALES, CDCR # T-05865
RUDDY AND MILLER; DOMINGO URIBE;
AND ROSE HERRERA; CORRECTIONAL SERGEANT TRUILLO; DR. KO,
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cathy Ann Bencivengo United States District Judge
ORDER: (1) DISMISSING DEFENDANTS VON LINTIG, (2) DENYING MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL; (3) DIRECTING U.S. MARSHAL TO EFFECT SERVICE OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO FED.R.CIV.P. 4(c)(3) & 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d)
On January 2, 2013, Plaintiff, a state prisoner currently incarcerated at Pleasant Valley State Prison located in Coalinga, California and proceeding pro se, filed a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff also filed a Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis ("IFP") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). On April 16, 2013, the Court granted Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed IFP and sua sponte dismissed his Complaint for failing to state a claim. (ECF No. 8 at 6-7.) Plaintiff was granted leave to file an Amended Complaint in order to correct the deficiencies of pleading identified by the Court. (Id. at 7.) Plaintiff was also cautioned that any "Defendants not named and all claims not re-alleged in the Amended Complaint will be deemed to have been waived." (Id. citing King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987).
On April 26, 2013, Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint ("FAC"), along with a Motion to Appoint Counsel . (ECF Nos. 9, 10.) In his First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff no longer names Carreno, Sangha, Von Lintig, Ruddy or Miller as Defendants. Thus, Plaintiff has waived his claims against these Defendants and they are dismissed from this action. King, 814 F.3d at 567.
II. MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
Plaintiff also requests the appointment of counsel to assist him in prosecuting this civil action. The Constitution provides no right to appointment of counsel in a civil case, however, unless an indigent litigant may lose his physical liberty if he loses the litigation. Lassiter v. Dept. of Social Services, 452 U.S. 18, 25 (1981). Nonetheless, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1), district courts are granted discretion to appoint counsel for indigent persons. This discretion may be exercised only under "exceptional circumstances." Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991). "A finding of exceptional circumstances requires an evaluation of both the '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.' Neither of these issues is dispositive and both must be viewed together before reaching a decision." Id. (quoting Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986)).
The Court deniesPlaintiff's request without prejudice, as neither the interests of justice nor exceptional circumstances warrant appointment of counsel at this time. LaMere v. Risley, 827 F.2d 622, 626 (9th Cir. 1987); Terrell, 935 F.2d at 1017.
SUA SPONTE SCREENING PER 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) AND § 1915A
As the Court stated in its previous Order, the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA") obligates the Court to review complaints filed by all persons proceeding IFP and by those, like Plaintiff, who are "incarcerated or detained in any facility [and] accused of, sentenced for, or adjudicated delinquent for, violations of criminal law or the terms or conditions of parole, probation, pretrial release, or diversionary program," "as soon as practicable after docketing." See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(b). Under these provisions, the Court must sua sponte dismiss any IFP or prisoner complaint, or any portion thereof, which is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim, or which seeks damages from defendants who are immune. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and § 1915A
The Court finds that Plaintiff's claims are now sufficiently pleaded to survive the sua sponte screening required by 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(b). Therefore, Plaintiff is entitled to U.S. Marshal service on his behalf. See Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1126-27; 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d) ("The officers of the court shall issue and serve all process, and perform all duties in [IFP] cases."); FED.R.CIV.P. 4(c)(3) ("[T]he court may order that service be made by a United States marshal or deputy marshal ... if the plaintiff is authorized to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915."). Plaintiff is cautioned, however, that "the sua sponte screening and dismissal procedure is cumulative of, and not a substitute for, any subsequent Rule 12(b)(6) motion that [a defendant] may choose to bring." Teahan v. Wilhelm, 481 F. Supp. 2d 1115, 1119 (S.D. Cal. 2007).
IV. CONCLUSION AND ORDER
Good cause appearing therefor, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Defendants Carreno, Sangha, Von Lintig, Ruddy and Miller are DISMISSED from this action. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate these Defendants from the docket.
2. Plaintiff's Motion for Appointment of Counsel pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) (ECF Doc. No. 10) is DENIED without prejudice.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that:
3. The Clerk shall issue a summons as to Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint (ECF No. 9) upon Defendants and shall forward it to Plaintiff along with a blank U.S. Marshal Form 285 for each Defendant. In addition, the Clerk shall provide Plaintiff with a certified copy of this Order, the Court's Order granting Plaintiff leave to proceed IFP (ECF No. 8), and certified copies of his First Amended Complaint and the summons for purposes of serving each Defendant. Upon receipt of this "IFP Package," Plaintiff is directed to complete the Form 285s as completely and accurately as possible, and to return them to the United States Marshal according to the instructions provided by the Clerk in the letter accompanying his IFP package. Thereafter, the U.S. Marshal shall serve a copy of the First Amended Complaint and summons upon each Defendant as directed by Plaintiff on each Form 285. All costs of service shall be advanced by the United States. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d); FED.R.CIV.P. 4(c)(3).
4. Defendants are thereafter ORDERED to reply to Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint within the time provided by the applicable provisions of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(a). See 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(g)(2) (while Defendants may occasionally be permitted to "waive the right to reply to any action brought by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility under section 1983," once the Court has conducted its sua sponte screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and § 1915A(b), and thus, has made a preliminary determination based on the face on the pleading alone that Plaintiff has a "reasonable opportunity to prevail on the merits," Defendants are required to respond).
5. Plaintiff shall serve upon Defendants or, if appearance has been entered by counsel, upon Defendants' counsel, a copy of every further pleading or other document submitted for consideration of the Court. Plaintiff shall include with the original paper to be filed with the Clerk of the Court a certificate stating the manner in which a true and correct copy of any document was served on Defendants, or counsel for Defendants, and the date of service. Any paper received by the Court which has not been filed with the Clerk or which fails to include a Certificate of Service will be disregarded.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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