United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL AND
Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion to
Appoint Counsel (Dkt. # 15). For the reasons that follow, the
Court DENIES Plaintiff’s Motion, and
DISMISSES, without leave to amend, his
August 12, 2019, Plaintiff Jerome Brown
(“Plaintiff”) filed this action against
Defendants Gerald Auerback, Donald Washington, Hyunok Lee,
Vincent O’Neal, Edwin Sloan, and the United States
Marshal Service. Dkt. # 9. In doing so, Plaintiff submitted
an application to proceed in forma pauperis. Dkt. #
1. The Honorable Michelle L. Peterson granted the
application. Dkt. # 7.
August 15, 2019, the Court dismissed Plaintiff’s
Complaint. Dkt. # 11. The Court did so pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B), which requires the Court to dismiss the
complaint of an in forma pauperis plaintiff if that
complaint fails to state a claim. Id. In dismissing
Plaintiff’s Complaint, the Court instructed that
Plaintiff must file an amended complaint within fourteen (14)
days of the date of the Order, or the case would be
dismissed. Id. Over a month has passed since the
Court’s August 15, 2019 Order, and Plaintiff has not
made any filing.
The Court Denies Plaintiff’s Motion to Appoint
a civil action where, as a general matter, a plaintiff does
not have a right to counsel. See Storseth v.
Spellman, 654 F.2d 1349, 1353 (9th Cir. 1981). In
certain cases, “exceptional circumstances” may
warrant the appointment of counsel. Agyeman v. Corrs.
Corp. of Am., 390 F.3d 1101, 1103 (9th Cir. 2004).
“A finding of exceptional circumstances requires an
evaluation of 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.’ ” Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789
F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986) (quoting Weygandt v.
Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983).
Court finds that no exceptional circumstances warrant the
appointment of counsel because Plaintiff is unlikely to
succeed on the merits. Plaintiff alleges “Conflict of
interest name Donald W. Washington. Conflict of interest not
Washington but Capitol City, D.C.. Conflict of Interest, USDC
Western District of Washington.” Dkt. # 9 at 5.
Plaintiff also alleges that he was “arrested by two
U.S. Marshals at clerks office 05 29, 2011” but
provides no additional details regarding the arrest. Dkt. #
9. Plaintiff appears to allege negligence, but the Complaint
contains no allegations explaining what the negligent acts
were or how the allegations are relevant to Plaintiff’s
claims against the Defendants. Id. The Court granted
Plaintiff an opportunity to supplement his factual
allegations, and Plaintiff has failed to do so. Dkt. # 11.
Because no exceptional circumstances warrant the appointment
of counsel, Plaintiff’s motion for counsel is
DENIED. Dkt. # 15.
The Court Dismisses Plaintiff’s Complaint With
Court’s authority to grant in forma pauperis
status derives from 28 U.S.C. § 1915. The Court is
required to dismiss an in forma pauperis
plaintiff’s case if the Court determines that
“the action . . . (i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii)
fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune
from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). A
complaint is frivolous if it lacks a basis in law or fact.
Andrews v. King, 398 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir.
2005). A complaint fails to state a claim if it does not
“state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 568 (2007).
noted, the Court previously dismissed Plaintiff’s
complaint with leave to amend within fourteen days because
the complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief could
be granted. Dkt. # 11. In doing so, the Court stated,
“[i]f Plaintiff does not file an amended complaint
within that timeframe . . . the Court will dismiss the
action.” Id. Plaintiff has not complied and
has not filed an amended pleading as of the date of this
Order, which is over a month after its previous Order
directing Plaintiff to do so. Dkt. # 11. Plaintiff’s
Complaint still fails to set forth any actionable legal
claim. Accordingly, the Court DISMISSES
Plaintiff’s complaint without leave to