United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DENYING APPLICATION FOR COURT-APPOINTED COUNSEL
AND DISMISSING CASE
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Ryan Crutcher's
Application for Court-Appointed Counsel. Dkt. #17. Finding
that Plaintiff has offered no basis for appointment of
counsel, the Court denies the Application. Accordingly,
because Plaintiff has failed to show cause for his failure to
comply with the Joint Status Report Order, this case is
dismissed without prejudice.
December 24, 2019, Plaintiff was granted leave to proceed in
forma pauperis against Defendant United Parcel Service
(“UPS”). Dkt. #5. Plaintiff's complaint
alleges employment discrimination and seeks relief under the
Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101.
Id. Defendant served its Answer on April 8, 2019.
Dkt. #8. Pursuant to this Court's scheduling order, Dkt.
#6, parties were required to file a Joint Status Report and
Discovery Plan by March 28, 2019 but failed to do so.
Accordingly, this Court issued an order to show cause
notifying parties that the case would be dismissed without
prejudice for failure to comply with the Court's previous
order. Dkt. #14. Prior to the deadline to show cause,
Plaintiff requested a time extension on the basis that he
needed a lawyer to help him with the case. Dkt. #15. In an
abundance of caution, the Court ordered Plaintiff to file a
request for court-appointed counsel. Dkt. #16. The instant
Motion to Appoint Counsel followed.
the pending Application to Appoint Counsel, Plaintiff
describes his efforts to secure counsel on his own, including
at least twenty-five calls to a list of attorneys provided to
him by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(“EEOC”). Dkt. #17 at 2. Plaintiff's
Application provides no other basis for his need for
court-appointed counsel. However, his earlier time extension
request references to his mental state due to a brain
aneurysm. Dkt. #15 at 1.
civil cases, the appointment of counsel to a pro se litigant
“is a privilege and not a right.” United
States ex. Rel. Gardner v. Madden, 352 F.2d 792, 793
(9th Cir. 1965) (citation omitted). “Appointment of
counsel should be allowed only in exceptional cases.”
Id. (citing Weller v. Dickson, 314 F.2d 598
(9th Cir. 1963)). A court must consider together “both
the likelihood of success on the merits and the ability of
the petitioner to articulate his claims pro se in light of
the complexity of the legal issues involved.”
Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983).
“Neither of these considerations is dispositive and
instead must be viewed together.” Palmer v.
Valdez, 560 F.3d 965, 970 (9th Cir. 2009) (citing
Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir.
Court Declines to Appoint Counsel
does not satisfy the applicable standard here. First,
Plaintiff provides no explanation for his need for legal
counsel. Although he makes a reference to a brain aneurysm in
a previously-filed motion, see Dkt. #15, his application
provides no information regarding his medical condition or
why he is otherwise unable to articulate his claims against
Defendant. Absent further explanation from Plaintiff, the
Court cannot determine that he lacks the mental ability to
merits of Plaintiff's claims are likewise uncertain.
Plaintiff states that the EEOC provided him with a letter
that informed him of his right to sue due to his disability.
Dkt. #17 at 2. However, Defendant suggests in its response
that Plaintiff is referencing the EEOC's Dismissal and
Notice of Rights on Plaintiff's charge No.
551-2017-01691, which dismissed Plaintiff's claim before
the agency and notified him of his right to sue within ninety
days of receipt. Dkt. #18 at 2. Importantly, this Notice
clarifies that the EEOC dismissed Plaintiff's claim
because it could not conclude that the information obtained
established violations of the statutes. Dkt. #18-1 at 2.
Because Plaintiff provided no reply to Defendant's
response, there is minimal basis for the Court to conclude
that Plaintiff's claims have merit.
Dismissal of Case
explained in this Court's previous order to show cause,
Plaintiff was responsible for initiating the process to file
a Combined Joint Status Report and Discovery Plan by March
28, 2019. Dkt. #14. As of this date, no report has been
filed. Instead, Plaintiff requested a time extension
referencing both a brain aneurysm and need for legal
help-neither of which he explained or substantiated in his
Application for Appointment of Counsel. See Dkt. #17.
foregoing reasons, the Court finds that Plaintiff has failed
to show ca use for failure to comply with the Court's
previous order. ...