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Oram v. Martin

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

June 4, 2019

CYRIL DD ORAM, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
LOCKHEED MARTIN, GENERAL DYNAMICS CORP., DOD INSPECTOR GENERAL, Defendants.

          ORDER ON MOTIONS AND ORDERS TO SHOW CAUSE

          ROBERT J. BRYAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's May 31, 2019 “Response to the Court Order and Motion for Continuance.” Dkt. 10. The Court has considered the May 31, 2019 pleading and the remainder of the file herein.

         On November 29, 2018, Plaintiff, a pro se, filed the IFP application (Dkt. 1) and proposed civil complaint (Dkt. 1-1). The Plaintiff's IFP application was denied. Dkt. 2. The Plaintiff paid the filing fee and his Complaint was filed. Dkt. 3. The Complaint references several federal statutes and the U.S. Constitution. Dkt. 3. It alleges that the Plaintiff worked for Lockheed Martin, or an affiliate, in the United Arab Emirates, and at some point, filed a labor dispute claim. Id. Plaintiff asserts that his employment was improperly terminated, he was denied certain benefits, and was forced to engage in litigation in the United Arab Emirates. Id. Plaintiff further asserts that General Dynamics Corp did nothing to transfer Plaintiff's work visa in the United Arab Emirates and blocked his continued employment on a federal contract and on other federal contracts. Id. The Plaintiff maintains that the Department of Defense Inspector General refused to properly investigate his complaint and termination. Id. As a consequence of all the Defendants' actions, the Plaintiff asserts that he was damaged. Id.

         On May 6, 2019, the Plaintiff's motion for court-appointed counsel was denied. Dkt. 9. (The original deadline to file the JSR was April 11, 2019; the deadline was extended at the Plaintiff's request to May 6, 2019.) His motion for an extension of time to file the Joint Status Report and Discovery Plan (“JSR”) was granted and the deadline was reset to June 28, 2019. Id. The Court further noted that, despite the having filed the case in November of 2018, there was no evidence that the Defendants had been served with a copy of the summons and complaint in accord with Fed.R.Civ.P. 4. Id. The Plaintiff was ordered to either file proof of service of the Defendants or show cause, if any he has, in writing, why this case should not be dismissed without prejudice under Fed.R.Civ.P. 4 (m) by May 31, 2019.

         In the May 31, 2019 pleading, the Plaintiff moves for reconsideration of the decision denying him court-appointed counsel. Dkt. 10. He further states that he “has forwarded the summons to the defendants and hereby certifies proof of service with tracking numbers 9510816200929149160096, 9510816200929149160102, and 9510816200929149160119.” Id. He again asks for an extension of time to file the JSR. Id. Plaintiff did not sign this pleading.

         The Defendants have not appeared.

         MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF ORDER DENYING APPLICATION FOR COURT-APPOINTED COUNSEL:

         Local Rule W.D. Wash. 7 (h) provides:

(1) Standard. Motions for reconsideration are disfavored. The court will ordinarily deny such motions in the absence of a showing of manifest error in the prior ruling or a showing of new facts or legal authority which could not have been brought to its attention earlier with reasonable diligence.
(2) Procedure and Timing. A motion for reconsideration shall be plainly labeled as such. The motion shall be filed within fourteen days after the order to which it relates is filed. The motion shall be noted for consideration for the day it is filed. The motion shall point out with specificity the matters which the movant believes were overlooked or misapprehended by the court, any new matters being brought to the court's attention for the first time, and the particular modifications being sought in the court's prior ruling. Failure to comply with this subsection may be grounds for denial of the motion. The pendency of a motion for reconsideration shall not stay discovery or any other procedure.

         Further, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1), “[u]pon application by the complainant and in such circumstances as the court may deem just, the court may appoint an attorney for such complainant….” In deciding whether to appoint counsel in a Title VII case, the court assesses the applicant's financial resources, efforts the applicant has already made to secure counsel, and whether the claim has merit. Bradshaw v. Zoological Society of San Diego, 662 F.2d 1301 (9th Cir. 1981). Further, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1), the court may request an attorney to represent any person unable to afford counsel. Under Section 1915, the court may appoint counsel in exceptional circumstances. Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1236 (9th Cir. 1984). To find exceptional circumstances, the court must evaluate the likelihood of success on the merits and the ability of the petitioner to articulate the claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved. Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983).

         The Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of the decision denying his application for appointment of counsel (Dkt. 10) should be denied. He has failed to point to “manifest error in the prior ruling or a showing of new facts or legal authority which could not have been brought to [the Court's] attention earlier with reasonable diligence.” LCR 7(h)(1). Further, the motion is untimely, the May 31, 2019 pleading was filed more than 14 days after the May 6, 2019 Order. The May 6, 2019 Order's findings and reasoning should be adopted and the motion for reconsideration denied.

         FAILURE TO SERVE THE DEFENDANTS. Fed. R. Civ. P. 4 (c), “Service, ” provides:

(1) In General. A summons must be served with a copy of the complaint. The plaintiff is responsible for having the summons and complaint served within the time allowed by Rule 4(m) and must furnish the necessary ...

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