United States District Court, E.D. California
F. BRENNAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action
brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendant Ajani
Jackson. ECF No. 1. He has filed three pending motions: (1) a
motion for “preliminary injunction” and
“temporary restraining order” (ECF No. 18); (2) a
motion to appoint counsel (ECF No. 22); and (3) a motion
requesting that the court order the California Health Care
Facility to release plaintiff's medical records to him
(ECF No. 27).
Motion for Provisional Relief
motion for “preliminary injunction” and
“temporary restraining order” (ECF No. 18), is
directed at four individuals who are not parties to this
action (Warden Baughman, Law Librarian Dennely, C/O Schorer,
and C/O Bartlett). He alleges that these nonparties are
interfering with his access to the courts by denying him
adequate access to the law library and he ///// requests an
order that they cease doing so. Presumably, plaintiff would
like an order compelling these individuals to grant him
access to the law library.
than seeking some early remedy from defendant for a wrong
alleged in this action, plaintiff's motion seeks an order
compelling nonparties to take a course of action plaintiff
believes will be necessary for his litigation of this case.
This request is thus not for a preliminary injunction or
temporary restraining order, but is more correctly viewed as
a request for an interlocutory order under the All Writs Act,
28 U.S.C. § 1651. See generally, Fitzpatrick v.
California City, No. 1:96-CV-5411 AWI SMS, 2014 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 67950, at *15-16 (E.D. Cal. May 16, 2014).
Writs Act gives federal courts the authority to issue
“all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their
respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and
principles of law.” 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a). It is
meant to aid the court in the exercise and preservation of
its jurisdiction. Plum Creek Lumber Co. v. Hutton,
608 F.2d 1283, 1289 (9th Cir. 1979). The United States
Supreme Court has authorized the use of the All Writs Act in
appropriate circumstances against persons who, “though
not parties to the original action or engaged in wrongdoing,
are in a position to frustrate the implementation of a court
order or the proper administration of justice.”
United States v. N.Y. Telephone Co., 434 U.S. 159,
record contains inadequate information to properly consider
plaintiff's request. Accordingly, defense counsel is
directed to inquire into the status of plaintiff's access
to the law library and to file an opposition or other
appropriate response to the motion.
Motion for Appointment of Counsel
requests that the court appoint counsel. ECF No. 22. District
courts lack authority to require counsel to represent
indigent prisoners in § 1983 cases. Mallard v. U.S.
Dist. Court, 490 U.S. 296, 298 (1989). In exceptional
circumstances, the court may request an attorney to
voluntarily to represent such a plaintiff. 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). When determining whether
exceptional circumstances exist, the court must consider the
likelihood of success on the merits as well as the ability of
the plaintiff to articulate his claims pro se in light of the
complexity of the legal issues involved. Palmer v.
Valdez, 560 F.3d 965, 970 (9th Cir. 2009).
considered those factors, the court finds there are no
exceptional circumstances in this case. Plaintiff states that
he needs appointed counsel because he is a layman at law. ECF
No. 22 at 1. This circumstance, which is common to the vast
majority of pro se litigants, is not exceptional. Wood v.
Housewright, 900 F.2d 1332, 1335-36 (9th Cir. 1990).
Motion for Release of Documents
motion for an order directing the California Health Care
Facility to release his medical records is denied as
premature. After defendant has filed a response to the
complaint, the court will issue a discovery and scheduling
order. Plaintiff may seek these documents through the
discovery process, and should file a motion asking for the
court's assistance only if he cannot obtain them through
requests made pursuant to the ordinary discovery rules
(Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26-37 & 45).
it is ...