(PC) Ahmed v. Ringler et al., No. 2:2013cv01050 - Document 57 (E.D. Cal. 2017)

Court Description: ORDER and FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS signed by Magistrate Judge Deborah Barnes on 1/03/17 ORDERING plantiff's motion for the appointment of counsel 40 is denied. Plaintiff's motion for a copy of his deposition transcript 42 is denied . Plaintiff's request for judicial notice 50 is denied. Defendant's motion to strike 51 is denied. Also, RECOMMENDING that plaintiff's motion to stay 55 be denied. Plaintiff's motion to supplement the complaint 40 be d enied. Defendant's motion to modify the scheduling order 47 be granted and the parties be permitted 30 days after the district judge's ruling on these findings and recommendations to file any pretrial motions. Motions 40 , 47 and 55 referred to Judge Morrison C. England Jr. Objections due within 14 days.(Plummer, M)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 ABDIKIDAR AHMED, 12 Plaintiff, 13 14 No. 2:13-cv-1050 MCE DB P v. ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS S. RINGLER, 15 Defendant. 16 Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with a civil rights 17 18 action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff claims defendant Ringler conducted unnecessary 19 searches of plaintiff’s cell on November 21, 2012 and May 7, 2013 in retaliation for plaintiff’s 20 submission of grievances regarding Ringler’s July 2, 2012 search of his cell. Before the court are 21 plaintiff’s motions to stay these proceedings, to supplement his complaint, for the appointment of 22 counsel, for a transcript, and for judicial notice. Defendant opposes each motion. In addition, 23 defendant moves to strike plaintiff’s motion for judicial notice and seeks to modify the scheduling 24 order. 25 For the reasons set forth below, this court denies plaintiff’s motions for the appointment of 26 counsel, for a copy of the deposition transcript, and for judicial notice, and denies defendant’s 27 motion to strike. The court recommends plaintiff’s motions to stay and to supplement the 28 complaint be denied and defendant’s motion to modify the scheduling order be granted. 1 1 BACKGROUND 2 I. Allegations in the Complaint 3 Plaintiff filed his complaint on May 28, 2013. (ECF No. 1.) Therein, plaintiff alleges the 4 following. On July 2, 2012, defendant Ringler as well as Sergeants Ramirez and Clark conducted 5 a two and a half hour search of plaintiff’s personal property and housing area at California State 6 Prison at Solano. Sergeant Clark confiscated plaintiff’s television and radio, believing they were 7 contraband. Plaintiff showed Sergeant Clark documentation establishing plaintiff’s rightful 8 ownership, and Clark subsequently summoned plaintiff to retrieve the seized property. Plaintiff 9 observed that his radio had been damaged due to defendant Ringler’s attempt to open it to search 10 for contraband. When plaintiff mentioned this to Sergeant Clark, plaintiff was ordered to leave. 11 Later that day, plaintiff was summoned back to the center complex where Sergeants Ramirez and 12 Clark and defendants Ringler and Scotland were all seated. Plaintiff made a verbal complaint 13 about the prior search and seizure of his property, and defendant Ringler reached over and broke 14 off a piece of plaintiff’s radio, saying “There, it’s fixed.” Immediately thereafter, defendant 15 Scotland warned plaintiff that the searches would continue if he continued to press the issues 16 about which he was verbally complaining. (Compl. (ECF No. 1) at 5-5b.) Plaintiff pursued a formal inmate grievance about defendants’ alleged conduct in the center 17 18 complex, which prison officials denied. On November 21, 2012, Correctional Officers 19 Henderson and DeStefano conducted a search of plaintiff’s living area. Shortly thereafter, 20 defendant Ringler arrived at the scene and went straight to plaintiff’s living area. Although 21 Officer Henderson told defendant Ringler he had already searched plaintiff’s area, defendant 22 Ringler proceeded to search it again. Plaintiff pursued another formal inmate grievance about 23 defendant Ringler’s conduct, which prison officials partially granted by conducting an inquiry. 24 However, the grievance was denied. On May 7, 2013, defendant Ringler and Correctional 25 Officer Ruiz conducted another search of plaintiff’s living area and again confiscated more of 26 plaintiff’s property. In terms of relief, plaintiff requests damages, and injunctive and declaratory 27 relief. (Id. at 5b-5d.) 28 //// 2 1 II. 2 When the complaint was screened, the magistrate judge previously assigned to this case found Procedural History 3 plaintiff stated First Amendment claims against defendants Ringler and Scotland. (ECF No. 9.) 4 In June 2014, defendants moved to dismiss the case based on plaintiff’s failure to state a First 5 Amendment claim against each defendant and based on qualified immunity. (ECF No. 17.) The 6 court held that defendant Ringler was protected by qualified immunity from plaintiff’s claim that 7 Ringler broke his radio and that defendant Scotland was protected by qualified immunity from 8 plaintiff’s claim that Scotland threatened him in retaliation for his verbal complaint about a prior 9 cell search and property seizure. The court held that plaintiff’s claims against Ringler for cell 10 searches in retaliation for plaintiff’s submission of formal grievances survived the motion to 11 dismiss. (ECF Nos. 26, 27.) 12 Defendant Ringler filed an answer to the complaint on April 9, 2015. (ECF No. 28.) On 13 April 16, 2015, the court set a schedule for discovery and pretrial motions. (ECF No. 29.) The 14 deadline for conducting discovery expired on July 31, 2015 and the deadline for filing pretrial 15 motions expired on October 23, 2015. Plaintiff’s May 21, 2015 request for an extension of the 16 discovery cut-off was denied. (ECF No. 45.) The motions presently before the court begin with plaintiff’s September 17, 2015 motion to 17 18 “supplement” his complaint and for the appointment of counsel. (ECF No. 40.) Defendant 19 opposes those motions. (ECF Nos. 44, 46.) On September 22, 2015, plaintiff requested that he be 20 provided a copy of the transcript of his deposition. (ECF No. 42.) Defendant opposes that 21 request. (ECF No. 43.) Finally, on November 10, 2015, plaintiff filed a request for judicial 22 notice. (ECF No. 50.) Defendant opposes that request, and moves to strike it. (ECF No. 51.) 23 The final motion before the court is defendant’s October 23, 2015 motion to modify the 24 scheduling order. (ECF No. 47.) 25 On August 2, 2016, this case was re-assigned to the undersigned magistrate judge. (ECF No. 26 54.) 27 //// 28 //// 3 1 DISCUSSION 2 I. 3 If granted, plaintiff’s motion to stay could defer this court’s consideration of the other pending 4 5 Motion to Stay motions. Accordingly, the court considers it first. On October 31, 2016, plaintiff moved to stay these proceedings while the Immigration and 6 Naturalization Service (“INS”) determines whether plaintiff should be deported. (ECF No. 55.) 7 Plaintiff states that he is scheduled to be transferred to the custody of the INS within 30 to 60 8 days. Defendant opposes the stay. (ECF No. 56.) Defendant argues that an indefinite stay will 9 prejudice his ability to litigate this case. 10 The United States Supreme Court has clearly indicated that “the power to stay proceedings is 11 incidental to the power inherent in every court to control the disposition of the causes on its 12 docket with economy of time and effort for itself, for counsel, and for litigants. How this can best 13 be done calls for the exercise of judgment, which must weigh competing interests and maintain an 14 even balance.” Landis v. North American Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254–55 (1936). In this regard, “the 15 proponent of the stay bears the burden of establishing its need.” Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 16 706 (1997). 17 Plaintiff has failed to show why a stay of these proceedings is necessary. Plaintiff has not 18 shown that he will be unable to litigate this action while he is in federal custody or that he will 19 otherwise be prejudiced in the present case when he is transferred. Therefore, the undersigned 20 will recommend denial without prejudice of plaintiff’s motion for a stay of these proceedings. 21 22 23 II. Motion to Supplement Complaint A. Background Plaintiff requests permission to file a supplement and an appendix of exhibits to his 24 complaint. He states that he “recently exhausted additional prison grievances to supplement to 25 the [] Original Complaint.” (ECF No. 40 at 2.) In the body of his motion, plaintiff states that he 26 has attached two exhibits: the “State Prison Final Review Level of the Director on October 2013 27 (Log No#SOL-13-01366) and in December 2014 (Log No#SOL-14-00475).” (Id.) While not 28 attached, those exhibits are part of a “Supplemental Complaint and Appendix of Exhibits” filed 4 1 the same date. (See ECF No. 41.) In this supplemental complaint, plaintiff appears to explain in 2 more detail the May 2013 search. He now alleges defendant Ringler conducted a strip search, as 3 well as a cell search, at that time. Plaintiff then makes a second claim of “on-going civil rights 4 constitutional violations by defendant Ringler” regarding Ringler’s conduct on January 13, 2014. 5 (Id. at 2-3.) 6 Attached to the supplemental complaint are exhibits reflecting the grievances and appeals 7 plaintiff made regarding cell searches on May 7 and May 13, 2013 (Log No. SOL-13-01366) and 8 regarding retaliatory harassment he alleges by Ringler on January 13, 2014 (Log No. SOL-14- 9 00475). (Id. at 7-32.) It appears that plaintiff’s grievance regarding the May 7, 2013 search was 10 denied as being untimely.1 (Id. at 8.) After an inquiry was conducted at the second level of 11 review regarding the May 13, 2013 search, plaintiff’s grievance regarding the May 13 search was 12 denied at the third level of review on October 10, 2013. (Id. at 8-9.) Plaintiff’s grievance shows 13 that the complained-of strip search occurred during the May 13 search. (Id. at 12.) Plaintiff’s grievance about Ringler’s conduct on January 13, 2014 was denied at the third 14 15 level of review on December 10, 2014. (Id. at 18.) Defendant opposes plaintiff’s motion to supplement his complaint on the grounds that 16 17 plaintiff’s filing shows plaintiff failed to exhaust his remedies so amendment would be futile, and 18 because plaintiff’s delay in moving to supplement the complaint is unjustified and will prejudice 19 defendant if granted. (ECF No. 44.) Defendant also seeks an extension of the deadline for filing 20 dispositive motions. 21 //// 22 //// 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 The court is not aware, however, whether plaintiff filed a separate, timely grievance regarding the May 7, 2013 search. In his complaint, plaintiff states that he has completed the grievance process for his claims. (Compl. (ECF No. 1) at 4.) He notes that his grievance regarding the July 2, 2012 search was Log No. CSP-S 12-01670 and was denied at the third level. (Id. at 5b.) However, he does not identify the log numbers for his grievances regarding the November 21, 2012 and May 7, 2013 searches. That said, the court notes that a § 1983 plaintiff is not required to show that he has exhausted his administrative remedies in his complaint. Rather, failure to exhaust is an affirmative defense. See Albino v. Baca, 747 F.3d 1162, 1169 (9th Cir. 2014) (en banc). 5 1 B. Legal Standards 2 Where a plaintiff seeks to add claims that arose after the date he filed his complaint, he 3 may move to supplement the complaint. See Rhodes v. Robinson, 621 F.3d 1002, 1006-07 (9th 4 Cir. 2010). Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(d), “the court may, on just terms, permit a 5 party to serve a supplemental pleading setting out any transaction, occurrence, or event that 6 happened after the date of the pleading to be supplemented.” See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(d). Rule 7 15(d) does not require the moving party to satisfy a transactional test, but there must still be a 8 relationship between the claim in the original pleading and the claims sought to be added. Keith 9 v. Volpe, 858 F.2d 467, 474 (9th Cir. 1988). Thus, “[w]hile leave to permit supplemental 10 pleading is favored, it cannot be used to introduce a separate, distinct and new cause of action.” 11 Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona v. Neely, 130 F.3d 400, 402 (9th Cir. 1997) (internal 12 quotation marks and citation omitted); see also Contreraz v. Stockbridge, No. 1:06–cv–01817 13 LJO SKO PC, 2012 WL 396503, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Feb.7, 2012) (denying plaintiff's motion to file 14 supplemental complaint because his proposed supplement allegations gave rise to a new causes of 15 action); Gonzalez v. Mason, No. C 07–180 SI (pr), 2008 WL 2079195, at *2 (N.D. Cal. May 15, 16 2008) (denying plaintiff's motion to file supplemental complaint because the proposed 17 supplement included different defendants and new claims). “The purpose of Rule 15(d) is to 18 promote as complete an adjudication of the dispute between the parties as possible by allowing 19 the addition of claims which arise after the initial pleadings are filed.” William Inglis & Sons 20 Baking Co. v. ITT Cont'l Baking Co., Inc., 668 F.2d 1014, 1057 (9th Cir. 1981) (internal citations 21 omitted). 22 Where the plaintiff seeks to add claims that arose prior to filing his complaint, he must 23 move to amend the complaint. Cano v. Taylor, 739 F.3d 1214, 1220 (9th Cir. 2014). The Federal 24 Rules provide that leave to amend pleadings “shall be freely given when justice so requires.” 25 Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). “ [T]his policy is to be applied with extreme liberality.” Morongo Band of 26 Mission Indians v. Rose, 893 F.2d 1074, 1079 (9th Cir.1990) (citing DCD Programs, Ltd. v. 27 Leighton, 833 F.2d 183, 186 (9th Cir.1987)). However, the Supreme Court has stated that a court 28 //// 6 1 may decline to grant leave for reasons that are apparent and stated on the record. Foman v. 2 Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). 3 The standards for granting a motion to supplement or amend are similar. The primary 4 difference is that to amend, plaintiff must file a new complaint. See E.D. Cal. R. 220 (amended 5 complaint be complete in itself without reference to any prior pleading). He need not do so to 6 supplement his complaint with new, related claims. 7 The Ninth Circuit has interpreted the decision in Foman as identifying “four factors 8 relevant to whether a motion for leave to amend the pleadings should be denied: undue delay, bad 9 faith or dilatory motive, futility of amendment, and prejudice to the opposing party.” United 10 States v. Webb, 655 F.2d 977, 980 (9th Cir. 1981). These factors are also examined when 11 considering a motion to supplement the complaint. Keith, 858 F.2d at 474; San Luis & Delta- 12 Mendota Water Auth. v. U.S. Dept. of Interior, 236 F.R.D. 491, 497 (E.D. Cal. May 17, 2006). 13 The factors do not carry equal weight. “[D]elay alone no matter how lengthy is an insufficient for 14 denial of leave to amend.” Webb, 655 F.2d at 980. “Prejudice to the opposing party is the most 15 important factor.” Jackson v. Bank of Hawai‘i, 902 F.2d 1385, 1387 (9th Cir. 1990). “Absent 16 prejudice, or a strong showing of any of the remaining Foman factors, there exists a presumption 17 under Rule 15(a) in favor of granting leave to amend.” Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon, Inc., 18 316 F.3d 1048, 1052 (9th Cir. 2003). 19 Futility of an amendment can, standing alone, justify denial of a request to file an 20 amended pleading. See Bonin v. Calderon, 59 F.3d 815, 845 (9th Cir. 1995). A proposed 21 amendment is futile if it presents no set of facts that would, even if proven, constitute a valid 22 claim. See Miller v. Rykoff–Sexton, Inc., 845 F.2d 209, 214 (9th Cir. 1988). The standard for 23 assessing whether a proposed amendment is futile is therefore the same as the standard imposed 24 under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Id. In that analysis, the court reviews the 25 complaint for “facial plausibility.” “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads 26 factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable 27 for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). “Threadbare recitals of 28 the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Id. 7 1 C. Analysis 2 Before considering defendant’s opposition to plaintiff’s motion to supplement, it is worth 3 clarifying the various incidents that appear to be the subject of plaintiff’s original and 4 supplemental complaints. 5 First, in his original complaint, plaintiff describes a lengthy search of his 6 belongings and living area which occurred on July 2, 2012 and which resulted in 7 the seizure of, and damage to, a radio. Plaintiff states that he filed a grievance, and 8 appeals, regarding this search, which he identifies as Log No. CSP-S 12-01670. 9 Second, also in his original complaint, plaintiff appears to challenge searches 10 conducted by defendant Ringler on November 21, 2012 and May 7, 2013. 11 Plaintiff argues that defendant Ringler conducted these November 2012 and May 12 2013 searches in retaliation for plaintiff’s submission of the grievance regarding 13 the July 2, 2012 search. 14 Third, in his supplemental complaint, plaintiff raises for the first time a May 13, 15 2013 search by Ringler. He provides documentation that shows he filed a 16 grievance regarding that search that he appealed through the third level. The 17 denial of his third level appeal is dated October 10, 2013. 18 Fourth, also in his supplemental complaint, plaintiff raises a January 13, 2014 19 search by Ringler. He again shows that he filed a grievance regarding that search, 20 and that he appealed that grievance to the third level of review. The denial of his 21 third level appeal regarding the January 13, 2014 search is dated December 10, 22 2014. 23 Defendant’s first argument in opposition to plaintiff’s motion to supplement is that 24 supplementing the complaint would be futile because plaintiff’s new pleading shows that he 25 failed to exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing the present suit. (ECF No. 44 at 2-4.) 26 Specifically, defendant contends that plaintiff’s claim involving the May 7, 2013 search is 27 unexhausted. He also contends plaintiff’s two new claims, regarding the May 13, 2013 search 28 and the January 13, 2014 search were unexhausted at the time plaintiff filed his original 8 1 complaint herein. The Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PLRA) mandates that “[n]o action shall be 2 3 brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983 . . . or any other Federal law, by a 4 prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility until such administrative 5 remedies as are available are exhausted.” 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). A review of the records before 6 this court does not validate any of defendant’s arguments that plaintiff failed to exhaust. 7 First, with respect to the May 7, 2013 search, the grievance attached to plaintiff’s 8 supplemental complaint discussed the May 13, 2013 search and added information about the May 9 7, 2013 search. It is not clear whether plaintiff intended to challenge both searches through his 10 grievance. The third level review mentioned that the May 7 search was untimely and stated that it 11 would “not be addressed in this response.” (ECF No. 41 at 8.) This court recognizes that even if 12 plaintiff did file a separate grievance about the May 7 search, it is unlikely that grievance was 13 resolved through all three levels of review prior to plaintiff’s submission of his original 14 complaint, filed here on May 28, 2013 but was signed by plaintiff on May 10, 2013. In any 15 event, the court will not address the question of plaintiff’s exhaustion of his original claims at this 16 stage of the proceedings. The Ninth Circuit has made clear that questions of exhaustion are best 17 resolved through a motion for summary judgment. Albino v. Baca, 747 F.3d 1162, 1168 (9th Cir. 18 2014) (en banc). For this reason, the court also declines to consider plaintiff’s request for judicial 19 notice and second supplemental filing (ECF No. 50) regarding his exhaustion of other claims. 20 Second, plaintiff’s two new claims regarding the May 13, 20132 and January 13, 2014 21 searches appear to be sufficiently exhausted because plaintiff completed all levels of 22 2 23 24 25 26 27 28 There is some question whether plaintiff’s May 13 claim occurred before or after he “filed” his complaint. While the complaint was filed here on May 28, 2013, plaintiff signed it on May 10. Under the Mailbox Rule of Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266 (1988), a pro se prisoner's court filing is deemed filed at the time the prisoner delivers it to prison authorities for forwarding to the court clerk. Douglas v. Noelle, 567 F.3d 1103, 1107 (9th Cir. 2009). It is not clear when plaintiff delivered his complaint to prison authorities. The court need not make that determination for purposes of this order because the court finds below that the prejudice to defendant dictates against permitting plaintiff to add new claims. Therefore, for purposes of this order it does not matter whether the May 13 claim occurred before plaintiff filed his complaint and could be amended into his complaint or whether the May 13 claim occurred after plaintiff filed his complaint and could be supplemented to his complaint. 9 1 administrative review before seeking to include them in this action.3 The Ninth Circuit has 2 specifically permitted the amendment and supplementation of a section 1983 complaint with new 3 claims so long as those claims were exhausted before the plaintiff sought to add them to his case. 4 Rhodes, 621 F.3d at 1006-07; Cano, 739 F.3d at 1220. 5 Defendant’s arguments that plaintiff delayed seeking to add these new claims, to 6 defendant’s prejudice, has merit. In his grievances regarding the May 13, 2013 and January 13, 7 2014 searches, plaintiff complained of the same sort of conduct, searches, conducted by the same 8 person, Officer Ringler, for the same reasons, retaliation, as he did in his original complaint. 9 Therefore, plaintiff had every reason to know these new claims would be relevant to his pending 10 case. Yet, plaintiff did not seek to add the grievance regarding the May 13 search to his 11 complaint until almost two years after the conclusion of his grievance procedures on October 10, 12 2013. He waited nine months to add the January 13, 2014 search. He knew of these new claims, 13 but failed to add them until over a month after discovery closed on July 31, 2015. Defendant 14 deposed plaintiff during the discovery period regarding the allegations in plaintiff’s complaint. 15 (Decl. of Arthur B. Mark III (ECF No. 44-1) ¶¶2-3.) If plaintiff is now permitted to add new 16 allegations, discovery should be re-opened to permit defendant to conduct discovery regarding 17 these issues. The time and expense of re-opening discovery has been recognized by courts as 18 sufficiently prejudicial to prevent the addition of new claims. See Lockheed Martin Corp. v. 19 Network Solutions, Inc., 194 F.3d 980, 986 (9th Cir. 1999) (“A need to reopen discovery and 20 therefore delay the proceedings supports a district court's finding of prejudice from a delayed 21 //// 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 Defendant argues that plaintiff is not asserting new claims regarding the May 13, 2013 and January 13, 2014 searches, but is asserting a single claim of retaliation that was not exhausted when he filed his complaint. Defendant’s argument is not sensible. By that measure, a defendant would never be able to exhaust if he is repeatedly subjected to retaliatory conduct. Plaintiff seeks to add to his complaint just the sort of new allegations that the Ninth Circuit permitted the plaintiff to add in Rhodes. In Rhodes, the plaintiff alleged prison guards retaliated against him for exercising his First Amendment rights by pursuing a prison grievance against them. Just like plaintiff in the present case, plaintiff Rhodes sought to add to his action additional retaliatory acts perpetrated by the same defendant guards. 621 F.3d at 1003-04. The Ninth Circuit held that the new claims could be supplemented into the plaintiff’s action. Id. at 1007. 10 1 motion to amend the complaint.”). For these reasons, this court will recommend denial of 2 plaintiff’s motion to supplement. 3 III. Motion for Appointment of Counsel 4 Plaintiff bases his request for the appointment of counsel on the fact that he is a native of 5 Somalia and is not fluent in English. (ECF No. 40 at 3.) He states that he has been able to file 6 documents thus far only with the help of other inmates. Defendant opposes the motion. (ECF 7 No. 46.) According to defendant’s counsel, during plaintiff’s almost three-hour deposition, 8 which was conducted in English, “[p]laintiff understood and responded to all of the questions 9 [counsel] asked. At no time did he state that he did not understand any question or could not 10 11 respond because English was his second language.” (Id. at 4.) The United States Supreme Court has ruled that district courts lack authority to require 12 counsel to represent indigent prisoners in § 1983 cases. Mallard v. United States Dist. Court, 490 13 U.S. 296, 298 (1989). In certain exceptional circumstances, the district court may request the 14 voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 15 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991); Wood v. Housewright, 900 F.2d 1332, 1335-36 (9th Cir. 1990). 16 The test for exceptional circumstances requires the court to evaluate the plaintiff’s 17 likelihood of success on the merits and the ability of the plaintiff to articulate his claims pro se in 18 light of the complexity of the legal issues involved. See Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 19 1331 (9th Cir. 1986); Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983). Circumstances 20 common to most prisoners, such as lack of legal education and limited law library access, do not 21 establish exceptional circumstances that would warrant a request for voluntary assistance of 22 counsel. 23 This court is sympathetic to plaintiff’s difficulties with the English language. However, it 24 appears he has some understanding of English and “the court does not have the resources to 25 appoint counsel for every prisoner with limited English language and reading skills who files a 26 civil rights action.” Nguyen v. Bartos, No. 2:10-cv-1461 WBS KJN P, 2012 WL 3589797, at *2 27 (E.D. Cal. Aug. 20, 2012). In the present case, the court does not find the required exceptional 28 circumstances for the appointment of counsel. 11 1 IV. 2 Plaintiff states that he received a copy of his deposition transcript, but was not provided 3 sufficient time by his counselor to read it. As a result, his counselor returned it “un-signed” and 4 “un-read.” (ECF No. 42.) Plaintiff asks the court to provide him a copy of the transcript “to read 5 and sign for myself.” Plaintiff was notified at that time that “There is no transcript filed on the 6 docket of this case.” 7 Request for Deposition Transcript To the extent plaintiff is requesting the court order defendant to provide plaintiff a copy of the 8 transcript free of charge, the court will not do so. There is no statutory requirement for the 9 government to provide a litigant proceeding in forma pauperis with a copy of a deposition 10 transcript. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d); see also Whittenberg v. Roll, No. 2:04–cv–2313 FCD JFM, 11 2006 WL 657381, at *5 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 15, 2006) (denying plaintiff's motion to compel 12 defendant to provide him with a copy of the deposition transcript free of charge). Moreover, 13 under Rule 30(f)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the officer before whom a deposition 14 is taken must provide a copy of the transcript to any party or to the deponent upon payment of 15 reasonable charges therefor. Id. Thus, the court will not order the court reporter, defense 16 counsel, or the defendant to provide plaintiff with a copy of his deposition transcript without 17 charge. Plaintiff must obtain the deposition transcript from the officer before whom the 18 deposition was taken on. See Boston v. Garcia, No. 2:10–cv–1782 KJM DAD, 2013 WL 19 1165062, at *2 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 20, 2013) (denying plaintiff's request for a court order directing 20 the defendant to provide him with a copy of his deposition transcript). Thus, to the extent that 21 plaintiff seeks a copy of the deposition transcript without charge, plaintiff's request is denied. 22 To the extent plaintiff is requesting that he be provided an opportunity to examine the original 23 copy of the deposition transcript again, plaintiff has failed to show defendant did not provide him 24 sufficient time to review the transcript previously. If plaintiff wishes to review the deposition 25 transcript, he should contact the court reporter to obtain a copy. 26 V. 27 After plaintiff filed a reply to defendant’s opposition to plaintiff’s motion to supplement the 28 Request for Judicial Notice & Motion to Strike complaint, plaintiff filed a motion entitled “JUDICIAL NOTICE REQUEST” and “2ND 12 1 SUPPLEMENTAL PLEADINGS ON SUBMISSION OF EVIDENTIARY DOCUMENTS 2 PROVING EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES.” (ECF No. 50.) Therein, 3 plaintiff asks the court to take judicial notice of the attached copies of his grievance and appeals 4 regarding the July 2, 2012 search by defendant Ringler, and others. Defendant opposes the 5 motion and moves to strike this filing as an unauthorized supplemental brief. (ECF No. 51.) 6 As stated above, the court will not address exhaustion issues at this time. Accordingly, the 7 materials plaintiff seeks the court to judicially notice are not relevant and plaintiff’s request will 8 be denied. Because the court denies plaintiff’s request, defendant’s motion to strike is denied as 9 moot. 10 VI. Motion to Modify Scheduling Order 11 In October 2015, defendant requested modification of the scheduling order based on the need 12 to resolve plaintiff’s pending motion to supplement the complaint. As discussed above, the court 13 will recommend denial of plaintiff’s motion to supplement. Discovery has closed. The only date 14 to be continued is the date for filing pretrial motions. The parties should be permitted thirty days 15 after the district judge’s ruling on these recommendations to file any pretrial motion as described 16 in the court’s April 16, 2015 scheduling order (ECF No. 29). 17 For the foregoing reasons, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED as follows: 18 1. Plaintiff’s motion for the appointment of counsel (ECF No. 40) is denied; 19 2. Plaintiff’s motion for a copy of his deposition transcript (ECF No. 42) is denied; 20 3. Plaintiff’s request for judicial notice (ECF No. 50) is denied; and 21 4. Defendant’s motion to strike (ECF No. 51) is denied. 22 Further, IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that: 23 1. 24 2. Plaintiff’s motion to supplement the complaint (ECF No. 40) be denied; and 25 3. Defendant’s motion to modify the scheduling order (ECF No. 47) be granted and the 26 parties be permitted thirty days after the district judge’s ruling on these findings and 27 recommendations to file any pretrial motions. 28 Plaintiff’s motion to stay (ECF No. 55) be denied; //// 13 1 These findings and recommendations will be submitted to the United States District Judge 2 assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within fourteen days 3 after being served with these findings and recommendations, any party may file written 4 objections with the court and serve a copy on all parties. The document should be captioned 5 “Objections to Magistrate Judge's Findings and Recommendations.” Any response to the 6 objections shall be filed and served within seven days after service of the objections. The parties 7 are advised that failure to file objections within the specified time may result in waiver of the 8 right to appeal the district court’s order. Martinez v. Ylst, 951 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1991). 9 Dated: January 3, 2017 10 11 12 13 14 15 DLB:9 DLB1/prisoner-civil rights/ahme1050.mta 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 14

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