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Washington v. Mae

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

August 8, 2013

Lilly Washington, Plaintiff,
v.
Fannie Mae, named as FNMA, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

G. MURRAY SNOW, District Judge.

Pending before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion for Someone to Represent Me at Settlement Conference (Doc. 36) and Motion to Ask for Help to Have One Attorney (Doc. 37). The Court will treat both motions as Motions to Appoint Counsel.

There is no constitutional right to appointed counsel in a civil case. See Ivey v. Bd. of Regents of Univ. of Alaska, 673 F.2d 266, 269 (9th Cir. 1982). The Court, however, does have the discretion to appoint counsel in "exceptional circumstances." See 28 U.S.C. ยง 1915(e)(1); Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986); Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089, 1093 (9th Cir. 1980). "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 or her claim pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved.'" Wilborn, 789 F.2d at 1331(quoting Weygant v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983)); see Richards v. Harper, 864 F.2d 85, 87 (9th Cir. 1988). "Neither of these factors is dispositive and both must be viewed together before reaching a decision on request of counsel" under section 1915(e)(1). Wilborn, 789 F.2d at 1331

Having considered both factors, the Court finds that Plaintiff has not demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits or that any difficulty she is experiencing in attempting to litigate her case is due to the complexity of the issues involved. While Plaintiff has pointed to difficulties understanding that she is experiencing, such difficulties do not make her case exceptional. Accordingly, at the present time, this case does not present "exceptional circumstances" requiring the appointment of counsel.

Accordingly,

IT IS ORDERED that both Motions to Appoint Counsel (Docs. 36, 37) are denied.


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