United States District Court, D. Arizona
S. WILLETT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
April 11, 2016, Plaintiff Jason Marlin Crook, who is confined
in the Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis, filed a pro se
First Amended Complaint (Doc. 23) pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. The Court screened the First Amended Complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a) and ordered all
Defendants to answer (Doc. 28 at 5).
before the Court are several motions which the Court will
rule upon as set forth below.
Motion for Appointment of Counsel (Doc. 29)
requests that the Court appoint him counsel because (i) he is
unable to afford an attorney; (ii) imprisonment limits his
ability to research and investigate issues in his case; (iii)
conflicting testimony of the witnesses is better handled by
counsel; (iv) his efforts to obtain counsel have been
unsuccessful; and (v) he suffers from mental health
conditions that inhibit his ability to perform needed tasks.
Plaintiff asserts that the law and justice support the
appointment of counsel in his case.
is no constitutional right to the appointment of counsel in a
civil case. See Johnson v. U.S. Dep't of
Treasury, 939 F.2d 820, 824 (9th Cir. 1991); Ivey v.
Bd of Regents of the Univ. of Alaska, 673 F.2d
266, 269 (9th Cir. 1982). “However, a court may under
‘exceptional circumstances' appoint counsel for
indigent civil litigants pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(1).” Palmer v. Valdez, 560 F.3d 965,
970 (9th Cir. 2009) (quoting Agyeman v. Coors. Corp. of
Am., 390 F.3d 1101, 1103 (9th Cir. 2004)). “When
determining whether ‘exceptional circumstances'
exist, a court must consider ‘the likelihood of success
on the merits as well as the ability of the [plaintiff] to
articulate his claims pro se in light of the
complexity of the legal issues involved.'”
Palmer, 560 F.3d at 970 (quoting Weygandt v.
Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983)); see also
Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991).
“Neither of these considerations is dispositive and
instead must be viewed together.” Palmer, 560
F.3d at 970 (citing Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d
1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986)).
has not shown that he is experiencing difficulty in
litigating this case because of the complexity of the issues
involved. Plaintiff's filings with the Court indicate
that Petitioner understands the issues and is capable of
presenting his arguments to the Court. See Wilborn,
789 F.2d at 1331 (“If all that was required to
establish successfully the complexity of the relevant issues
was a demonstration of the need for development of further
facts, practically all cases would involve complex legal
issues.”). In addition, Plaintiff has not shown a
likelihood of success on the merits. Plaintiff is in no
different position than many pro se prisoner litigants.
Because Plaintiff has not shown that exceptional
circumstances are present that would require the appointment
of counsel in this case, Plaintiff's Motion (Doc. 29)
will be denied.
Plaintiff's “Motion for Leave to Add Supplemental
Pleading” (Doc. 30); “Motion to Withdraw
Plaintiff's Motion to Supplement Pleading previously
filed on August 15, 2016” (Doc. 32); and “Motion
for Leave to Amend Plaintiff's Complaint to Add New
Defendants and Counts” (Doc. 33)
August 15, 2016, Plaintiff filed a “Motion for Leave to
add Supplemental Pleading” (Doc. 30), which Plaintiff
has moved to withdraw (Doc. 32). The Court will grant
Plaintiff's Motion to Withdraw (Doc. 32).
September 16, 2016, Plaintiff filed a “Motion for Leave
to Amend Plaintiff's Complaint to Add New Defendants and
Counts” (Doc. 33). Plaintiff seeks leave to amend his
First Amended Complaint to add new defendants and claims
pursuant to Rule 15 (a)(2), Fed.R.Civ.P. However, Local Rule
15.1(a) provides that:
A party who moves for leave to amend a pleading must attach a
copy of the proposed amended pleading as an exhibit to the
motion, which must indicate in what respect it differs from
the pleading which it amends, by bracketing or striking
through the text to be deleted and underlining the text to be
added. The proposed amended pleading must not incorporate by
reference any part of the preceding pleading, including
LRCiv 15.1(a) (emphasis added).
district court has discretion to adopt local rules . . . .
Those rules have ‘the force of law.'”
Hollingsworth v. Perry, 558 U.S. 183 (2010)
(citation omitted). Hence, both the parties and the Court are
bound by the local rules. LRCiv. 83.3(c)(1) (“Anyone
appearing before the court is bound by these Local
Rules.”); Professional Programs Group v. Department
of Commerce, 29 F.3d 1349, 1353 (9th Cir. 1994). A
district court's departure from its local rules is
justified only if the effect is ...