IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF HAWAII
January 30, 2012
MICHAEL C. TIERNEY, #A0201434, PLAINTIFF,
LOIS TORIKAWA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Leslie E. Kobayashi United States District Judge
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR
APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
Plaintiff seeks appointment of counsel to assist him in this prisoner civil rights action. Plaintiff claims that Defendants failed to protect him from assault by another inmate.
In proceedings that do not threaten a litigant with loss of physical liberty, there is no presumptive right to appointed counsel. Lassiter v. Dep't. of Soc. Servs., 452 U.S. 18, 26-27 (1981). The court has discretion whether to seek counsel to represent an indigent civil litigant. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1); Mallard v. District Court, 490 U.S. 296 (1989). That discretion is governed by a number of factors, including the likelihood of success on the merits and the applicant's ability to present his claims in light of their complexity. Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983); see also, LaMere v. Risley, 827 F.2d 622, 626 (9th Cir. 1987).
Plaintiff can read, write, and adequately express his claims. Moreover, Plaintiff has filed six actions, including this one, in this court within the past year,*fn1 and nearly forty actions in the federal district and appellate courts since 1991.*fn2 Clearly, Plaintiff is able to access the courts and navigate his proceedings pro se. The appointment of counsel is not required in the interests of justice. At this stage of these proceeding, before the Complaint has been screened or a responsive pleading has been ordered and filed, the court is unable to determine Plaintiff's likelihood of success on the merits of his claims. Plaintiff fails to present exceptional circumstances justifying the appointment of counsel. Plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel is DENIED without prejudice.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Leslie E. Kobayashi
Tierney v. Torikawa, et al., 1:12-cv-00056 LEK-RLP; psas\apptcoun\dmp\2012\ Tierney 12-56 lek (dny 1983)