United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING IN FORMA PAUPERIS STATUS; AND DENYING
MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
GONZALEZ ROGERS United States District Court Judge
a California state prisoner, has filed the instant pro
se civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. At the same time, Plaintiff has filed a motion for
appointment of counsel and an application for in forma
pauperis status. Dkts. 1, 2.
application for in forma pauperis status is GRANTED.
Dkt. 2. The total filing fee due is $350.00. The initial
partial filing fee due for Plaintiff at this time is $0.50. A
copy of this Order and the attached instruction sheet will be
sent to Plaintiff, the Prison Trust Account Office and the
Court's Financial Office.
also requests the appointment of counsel to represent him in
this action. Dkt. 1. There is no constitutional right to
counsel in a civil case unless an indigent litigant may lose
his physical liberty if he loses the litigation. See
Lassiter v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 452 U.S. 18, 25
(1981); Rand v. Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th
Cir. 1997) (no constitutional right to counsel in § 1983
action), withdrawn in part on other grounds on reh'g
en banc, 154 F.3d 952 (9th Cir. 1998) (en banc). The
court may ask counsel to represent an indigent litigant under
28 U.S.C. § 1915 only in “exceptional
circumstances, ” the determination of which requires an
evaluation of both (1) the likelihood of success on the
merits, and (2) the ability of the plaintiff to articulate
his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the
legal issues involved. See id. at 1525; Terrell
v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991);
Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir.
1986). Both of these factors must be viewed together before
reaching a decision on a request for counsel under §
1915. See id.
Court is unable to assess at this time whether exceptional
circumstances exist which would warrant seeking volunteer
counsel to accept a pro bono appointment. The
proceedings are at an early stage and it is premature for the
Court to determine Plaintiffs likelihood of success on the
merits. Moreover, Plaintiff has been able to articulate his
claims adequately pro se in light of the complexity
of the issues involved. See Agyeman v. Corrs. Corp. of
Am., 390 F.3d 1101, 1103 (9th Cir. 2004). Accordingly,
the request for appointment of counsel at this time is
DENIED. Dkt. 1.
Court will conduct an initial screening of the complaint
(dkt. 4) in a separate written Order.
Order terminates Docket nos. 1 and 2.
STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF
FOR PAYMENT OF PRISONER'S FILING FEE
prisoner shown as the plaintiff or petitioner on the attached
order has filed a civil action in forma pauperis in
this court and owes to the court a filing fee. Pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915, the fee is to be paid as follows:
The initial partial filing fee listed on the attached order
should be deducted by the prison trust account office from
the prisoner's trust account and forwarded to the clerk
of the court as the first installment payment on the filing
fee. This amount is twenty percent of the greater of (a) the
average monthly deposits to the prisoner's account for
the 6-month period immediately preceding the filing of the
complaint/petition or (b) the average monthly balance in the
prisoner's account for the 6-month period immediately
preceding the filing of the complaint/petition.
Thereafter, on a monthly basis, 20 percent of the preceding
month's income credited to the prisoner's trust
account should be deducted and forwarded to the court each
time the amount in the account exceeds ten dollars ($10.00).
The prison trust account office should continue to do this
until the filing fee has been paid in full.
prisoner does not have sufficient funds in his/her account to
pay the initial partial filing fee, the prison trust account
office should forward the available funds, and carry the
balance forward each month until the amount is fully paid.
prisoner has filed more than one complaint, (s)he is required
to pay a filing fee for each case. The trust account office
should make the monthly calculations and payments for each
case in which it ...