Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bishop v. Valley Medical Center

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

July 2, 2018

DEBRA BISHOP, Plaintiff,
v.
VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER, Defendant.

          ORDER DISMISSING ACTION AND DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL

          JAMES L. ROBART UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the court are pro se Plaintiff Debra Bishop's complaint against Valley Medical Center (see Compl. (Dkt. # 4)); Magistrate Judge Brian A. Tsuchida's order granting Ms. Bishop in forma pauperis (“IFP”) status and recommending that the court review her complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) (IFP Order (Dkt. # 3) at 1); and Ms. Bishop's motion to appoint counsel (MTA (Dkt. # 5)). The court first concludes that Ms. Bishop has not met her burden of establishing the circumstances that warrant appointment of counsel. Thus, the court denies her motion to appoint counsel.

         Additionally, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), district courts must review IFP complaints and dismiss those complaints if “at any time” the court determines that a complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); see also Id. § 1915A(b)(1); Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000) (clarifying that § 1915(e) applies to all IFP proceedings, not just those filed by prisoners). As discussed below, Ms. Bishop's complaint falls within the category of pleadings that the court must dismiss.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Ms. Bishop brings a civil rights suit against Valley Medical Center. (Compl. at 1.) However, her only factual assertion is that emergency room doctor, Carmin Buck, assaulted her and injured her arm and leg. (Id. at 7.) Ms. Bishop seeks $80, 000.00 in damages. (Id.)

         Ms. Bishop brought suit against Valley Medical Center on June 15, 2018. (See Compl.) On June 19, 2018, Magistrate Judge Tsuchida, in granting Ms. Bishop IFP status, recommended that the court review the complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). (IFP Order at 1.) Ms. Bishop subsequently filed a motion requesting appointment of counsel. (See MTA.) The court now addresses Ms. Bishop's motion to appoint counsel and reviews her complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. Motion to Appoint Counsel

         Ms. Bishop requests that the court appoint counsel. (MTA at 1.) “In civil actions for damages, appointment of counsel should be allowed only in exceptional cases.” U.S. ex rel. Gardner v. Madden, 352 F.2d 792, 794 (9th Cir. 1965). Determining whether counsel should be appointed involves the exercise of the court's discretion. See Id. Courts evaluate three factors in determining appointment of counsel: “(1) the plaintiff's financial resources; (2) the efforts made by the plaintiff to secure counsel on his or her own; and (3) the merit of the plaintiff's claim.” Johnson v. U.S. Dep't of Treasury, 939 F.2d 820, 824 (9th Cir. 1991).

         The court concludes that Ms. Bishop's submissions do not support appointing counsel. Ms. Bishop makes only a limited showing of her efforts to secure counsel on her own. (See MTA at 2.) She merely asserts that she contacted “at least” three law clinics through the bar association. (Id.) She does not indicate when she contacted them or if she checked with other entities that provide pro bono legal services or could assist her in securing pro bono representation. (See id.) Moreover, Ms. Bishop makes no argument as to the likelihood of success on the merits of her claims (see id.), and after the court's independent review, the court cannot say that her claims are likely to succeed because of the lack of factual allegations to support Ms. Bishop's claims, see infra § III.B. Thus, the court denies Ms. Bishop's motion to appoint counsel.

         B. Section 1915 Review

         Title 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) authorizes a district court to dismiss a claim filed IFP “at any time” if it determines: (1) the action is frivolous or malicious; (2) the action fails to state a claim; or (3) the action seeks relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). An IFP complaint must contain factual allegations “enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). The court need not accept as true a legal conclusion presented as a factual allegation. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Although the pleading standard articulated by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 does not require “detailed factual allegations, ” it demands more than “an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a).

         The court concludes that Ms. Bishop fails to state a claim. Aside from her assertion that a doctor assaulted her in the emergency room, she includes no other factual allegations detailing how that assault supports her civil rights claim. Indeed, Ms. Bishop does not specify which of her civil rights Valley Medical Center allegedly violated. (See Compl.) Without more, the complaint does not contain enough factual allegations to “raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. In other words, Ms. Bishop's complaint contains nothing more than the “unadorned the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.