United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
JAMES A. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
BERNARD E. WARNER, Defendant.
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME
W. Christel United States Magistrate Judge
District Court referred this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action to
United States Magistrate Judge David W. Christel. Plaintiff
James A. Williams, proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis, initiated this civil rights action in
August of 2017. Dkt. 1. Before the Court is Plaintiff's
Motion for Extension of Time, containing a request for an
extension of time as well as various requests for injunctive
relief and a request for appointed counsel. Dkt. 21.
Plaintiff's separate Motion for Preliminary Injunction is
also before the Court. Dkt. 22.
reviewing Plaintiff's original Complaint, the Court
ordered Plaintiff to show cause or file an Amended Complaint
on or before October 27, 2017. Dkt. 8. Plaintiff twice
requested the Court provide him additional time to file the
Amended Complaint, which the Court granted. Dkts. 10, 11, 13,
15. When Plaintiff failed to either show cause or file an
Amended Complaint, the Court again ordered him to show cause
or amend his Complaint by May 11, 2018. Dkt. 18. Plaintiff
failed to do so. However, he filed a letter with the Clerk
asking for additional time, stating he had lost most of his
legal materials, including cause numbers, and requesting new
copies and blank civil rights complaints to file amended
complaint. Dkt. 13.
Court granted Plaintiff until June 22, 2018, to file his
Amended Complaint. Dkt. 20. The Court explicitly warned
Plaintiff, “[b]ecause this is Plaintiff's third
extension of time to file the Amended Complaint and because
Plaintiff failed to adhere to the last extension the Court
granted, the Court will look extremely disfavorably on any
further delay.” Dkt. 20, p. 2. Despite this
admonishment, Plaintiff has now filed a new Motion for
Extension of Time. Dkt. 21. In that Motion, he has also
included various requests for injunctive relief and a request
for an attorney. Id. Plaintiff subsequently filed a
separate Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Dkt. 22.
Motion for Extension
Court has warned Plaintiff it would not look favorably on any
further delay in filing his Amended Complaint. Here, instead
of filing a Complaint as the Court instructed, Plaintiff has
filed 143 pages requesting additional time to file the
Complaint, amongst various other requests. Dkt. 21. Plaintiff
has been given multiple extension to file an Amended
Complaint since the first Order to Show Cause was filed on
September 26, 2017. See Dkt. 8. However, the Court
will not entertain further delay in this case.
Motion for Extension is denied. However, because the Court is
denying this Motion the same week as Plaintiff's deadline
to file his Amended Complaint, the Court will provide some
additional time to ensure Plaintiff receives notice that his
Motion has been denied before the deadline passes. Therefore,
plaintiff now has until June 26, 2018 to file his Amended
Complaint with the Court, or the Court will recommend that
his case be dismissed.
Request for Appointed Counsel
has also requested the Court appoint him an attorney. 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). 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
the Court initially ordered Plaintiff to file an Amended
Complaint because his initial filing was illegible. Dkt. 8.
He still has not filed an Amended Complaint. As such, the
Court cannot evaluate whether Plaintiff is likely to succeed
on the merits because the Court has not yet been able to read
his claims. Further, though Plaintiff has failed to file an
Amended Complaint, he has advocated for himself by filing
several motions for extension. Though the Court cannot
evaluate Plaintiff's claims on their merits, it concludes
Plaintiff has the ability to grasp the legal issues involved
in his case. The Court determines Plaintiff has not
demonstrated the exceptional circumstances requiring an
appointment of counsel. Insofar as Plaintiff's Motion for
Extension includes a request for appointed counsel, his
request is denied.
Requests for Injunctive Relief in Motion for Extension (Dkt.
21) and Separate Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Dkt.
has made several requests for preliminary injunction in his
Motion for Extension (Dkt. 21), and has filed a separate
Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Dkt. 22). However, because
Plaintiff has not yet filed an Amended Complaint and because
the Court has not served the Amended Complaint on Defendants,
the Court cannot yet make a determination on whether
Plaintiff's requests have merit. Therefore, insofar as
Plaintiff's Motion for Extension contains requests for
injunctive relief, the Clerk is directed to re-note that
Motion to June 29, 2018, to allow Plaintiff a final
opportunity to file his Amended Complaint and allow ...