United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
W. CHRISTEL, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Floydale Eckles, Sr., proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis, initiated this civil rights Complaint
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Dkt. 1-1. On
August 30, 2017, the Court directed Plaintiff to correct
deficiencies contained in his Amended Complaint. Dkt. 10.
Plaintiff filed a “Motion to Show Cause and Correct
Errors in Courts Order” (“Response to Court
Order”) on September 25, 2017. Dkt. 11. The Court
reviewed Plaintiff's Response to Court Order and directed
Plaintiff to file a second amended complaint on or before
December 4, 2017. Dkt. 13. Because Plaintiff was transferred
to Snohomish County Jail (“the Jail”), the Court
granted Plaintiff an extension to time, until February 5,
2018, to file a second amended complaint. Dkt. 15. Plaintiff
has now filed a letter (“Motion”) requesting the
Court stay this matter and provide him with Court-appointed
counsel. Dkt. 16.
Extension of Time
first requests a stay of this case because he is being denied
access to the law library at the Jail. Dkt. 16. He states he
does not know when he will be transferred from the Jail and
would like to stay his case until he has been transferred.
Id. Plaintiff states his lack of access to the law
library significantly hinders his ability to research
information, locate case law to support his arguments, and
adequately address the deficiencies in his case. Id.
Plaintiff has not filed a complaint that the Court finds
sufficiently states a claim upon which relief can be granted.
See Dkt. 5, 10, 13. Plaintiff has been directed to
file a second amended complaint. See Dkt. 13. In the
second amended complaint, Plaintiff should provide facts to
support his claims and reference which constitutional rights
he believes were violated. Plaintiff should not provide legal
arguments or citations. As Plaintiff should not provide legal
arguments or cite to case law in the second amended
complaint, Plaintiff has not shown he is required to have
access to the law library to file the second amended
complaint. Therefore, the Court finds Plaintiff has not shown
a stay is necessary at this time. The Court, however, finds
it is appropriate to grant Plaintiff additional time to file
his second amended complaint. Plaintiff must file his second
amended complaint on or before March 9, 2018.
also provides one sentencing requesting the Court provide him
with legal representation because he is unfit to handle his
case. Dkt. 16. No constitutional right to appointed counsel
exists in a § 1983 action. Storseth v.
Spellman, 654 F.2d 1349, 1353 (9th Cir. 1981); see
United States v. $292, 888.04 in U.S. Currency, 54 F.3d
564, 569 (9th Cir. 1995) (“[a]ppointment of counsel
under this section is discretionary, not mandatory”).
However, in “exceptional circumstances, ” a
district court may appoint counsel for indigent civil
litigants pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) (formerly
28 U.S.C. § 1915(d)). Rand v. Roland, 113F.3d
1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), overruled on other
grounds, 154 F.3d 952 (9th Cir. 1998). To decide whether
exceptional circumstances exist, the Court must evaluate 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 v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d
1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986) (quoting Weygandt v.
Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983)). A plaintiff
must plead facts showing he has an insufficient grasp of his
case or the legal issues involved and an inadequate ability
to articulate the factual basis of his claims. Agyeman v.
Corrections Corp. of America, 390 F.3d 1101, 1103 (9th
Motion, Plaintiff states he is unfit to handle this case.
Dkt. 16. Plaintiff, however, does not explain how or why he
is unfit to handle this case. See id. Furthermore,
he has not shown, nor does the Court find, this case involves
complex facts or law. Plaintiff has also not shown an
inability to articulate the factual basis of his claims in a
fashion understandable to the Court, nor has he shown he is
likely to succeed on the merits of this case. Additionally,
if Plaintiff is seeking counsel because of his alleged lack
of access to the law library at the Jail,
“Plaintiff's incarceration and limited access to
legal materials are not exceptional factors constituting
exceptional circumstances that warrant the appointment of
counsel. Rather, they are the type of difficulties
encountered by many pro se litigants.”
Dancer v. Jeske, 2009 WL 1110432, *1 (W.D. Wash.
Apr. 24, 2009). Accordingly, the Court finds Plaintiff has
failed to show the appointment of counsel is appropriate at
review of Plaintiff's Motion, the Motion is
granted-in-part and denied-in-part as follows:
Plaintiff's request for a stay is denied; however,
Plaintiff shall have up to and including March 9, 2018 to
file a second amended complaint. Plaintiff's request for
Court-appointed counsel is denied.
Clerk is directed to send Plaintiff the appropriate forms for
filing a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights complaint and for
service. The Clerk is further directed to send copies ...