United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
JOE J.W. ROBERTS, JR., Plaintiff,
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, et al., Defendants.
ORDER RE: PLAINTIFF'S PENDING MOTIONS
P. DONOHUE Chief United States Magistrate Judge.
a civil rights action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
This matter comes before the Court at the present time on
plaintiff's motions for an extension of the discovery
deadline and for assistance in obtaining DVD evidence. (Dkts.
35 and 37.) Plaintiff has also filed a number of motions
alleging misconduct on the part of the Washington Department
of Corrections (“DOC”) and requesting appointment
of counsel. (Dkts. 41, 42, 43 and 44.) Defendants have filed
responses addressing all of plaintiff's pending motions.
(Dkts. 38, 39 and 48.) The Court, having reviewed
plaintiff's motions, defendants' responses, and the
balance of the record, hereby finds and ORDERS as follows:
Plaintiff's motion for an extension of the discovery
deadline (Dkt. 35) is GRANTED in part. Plaintiff, by way of
the instant motion, seeks a seven month extension of the
discovery deadline. He cites in support of this request the
need to make arrangements with the DOC to obtain Snohomish
County Jail surveillance footage on DVD. Plaintiff also
asserts that the current March 20, 2017 deadline does not
allow him sufficient time to submit additional discovery
requests to defendants, in particular given delays in being
scheduled to use the law library at his current place of
confinement, the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center
(“CRCC”). Defendants object to any extension of
the discovery deadline, arguing that plaintiff has not shown
good cause for the requested extension. (See Dkt.
Court anticipates that issues concerning the DVD evidence
will not be finally resolved until the Court has an
opportunity to rule on defendants' motion for a
protective order which is currently noted for consideration
on March 24, 2017. This alone will necessitate at least a
slight extension. In addition, plaintiff's recent
submissions suggest that he is, in fact, having difficulties
gaining access to the law library at CRCC which also
justifies an extension of the discovery deadline. However,
while these factors do warrant some extension of the existing
deadline, they do not justify a seven month extension as
requested by plaintiff. Given that plaintiff has already
conducted some discovery, and that this issues in this action
are not particularly complex, plaintiff should be able to
complete any remaining discovery within ninety days from the
current deadline. Accordingly, the discovery deadline is
extended to June 20, 2017. The
dispositive motion filing deadline is extended as well to
July 20, 2017.
Plaintiff's motion regarding DVD evidence (Dkt. 37) is
RENOTED for consideration on March 24,
2017 so that it may be considered in
conjunction with defendants' pending motion for a
Plaintiff recently filed a series of motions complaining
about alleged misconduct on the part of the DOC and
requesting that counsel be appointed to represent him in this
matter. (Dkts. 41, 42, 43 and 44.) These motions are DENIED.
Court first notes that DOC is not a party to this action and,
thus, the Court has no authority to direct its actions. Any
complaints regarding the DOC should be raised through the
institutional grievance process at CRCC or, if plaintiff
deems it appropriate, in a separate lawsuit. The Court notes
as well that plaintiff's recent series of motions, three
of which were filed on February 27, 2017, and one of which
was filed on March 3, 2017, were unnecessarily repetitive and
required an undue expenditure of time by both defendants and
the Court to review and address the submissions. While
plaintiff is entitled to file motions containing legitimate
requests for relief, repetitive motions, or motions simply
airing grievances concerning plaintiff's current
confinement, are not appropriate and will not be
extent plaintiff requests in his recent motions that counsel
be appointed to assist him in this matter, the Court notes
that it previously denied a similar request from plaintiff.
(See Dkt. 14.) As plaintiff was previously advised,
there is no right to have counsel appointed in cases brought
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Although the Court, under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1), can request counsel to represent a
party proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court may do
so only in exceptional circumstances. Wilborn v.
Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986);
Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1236 (9th Cir.
1984); Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089 (9th Cir.
1980). 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.
Wilborn, 789 F.2d at 1331.
Court previously concluded that plaintiff was not entitled to
appointment of counsel in this matter because he had
demonstrated an ability to articulate his claims pro
se and because the legal issues presented in this case
are not particularly complex. Plaintiff asserts in his recent
motions that he requires the assistance of counsel to obtain
evidence in support of his claims. He cites specifically to
“unique material evidence” which he identifies as
an email exchange between himself and the Snohomish County
Sheriff's Office regarding his complaints of excessive
force. (See Dkt. 42.) Plaintiff cites as well to a
“witness issue” which requires outside assistance
because there is a no-contact order protecting
plaintiff's alleged “star/material witness, ”
Katrina Woolridge, as part of plaintiff's felony
conviction. (See Dkt. 43 at 2-3; Dkt. 44 at 5.)
Plaintiff maintains that Ms. Woolridge can testify to his
injuries, including nightmares he suffered as a result of the
alleged misconduct by defendants. (Dkt. 44 at 5.)
has not demonstrated to this Court's satisfaction that
the evidence he requires assistance to obtain would, in fact,
be necessary, relevant or admissible. Plaintiff therefore has
not demonstrated exceptional circumstances which would
justify the appointment of counsel at this time.
Clerk is directed to send copies of this Order to plaintiff,
to counsel for defendants, and to the Honorable Thomas S.
 Defendants correctly note in their
response to plaintiff's most recent series of motions
that an additional document concerning the DVD evidence which
was identified as a motion by plaintiff (Dkt. 40) is more
properly construed as a reply brief in support of
plaintiff's original motion (Dkt. 37). Plaintiff's
“Motion: Offering Superintendants [sic] Response/Letter
as Proof in Support of Plaintiffs ...