United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
C. Nye U.S. District Court Judge
0 The Court has before it pro se Plaintiff Raul Mendez's
Motion for Reconsideration (Dkt. 20) and Motion for Service
of Filings Via Email (Dkt. 21). The Court will address each
motion in turn. For the reasons set forth below, the Court
DENIES both Motions.
Motion for Reconsideration
April 12, 2017, Mendez filed a Motion for Appointment of Pro
Bono Representation with the Court. Dkt. 8. On August 25,
2017, the Court issued an order denying Mendez's request.
Dkt. 18. Mendez now asks for reconsideration of the
threshold matter, the Court notes that a “Motion for
Reconsideration” is not a procedural mechanism
available in Federal Court except in limited circumstances,
none of which are present here. While Mendez correctly cites
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60 as the rule regarding
motions for relief from a judgment or order, his
interpretation is incorrect. Rules 59 and 60 only apply to
final, appealable orders. See United States v. Martin,
226 F.3d 1042, 1048 (9th Cir. 2000). Although no such avenue
exists as to the order Mendez seeks relief from, the Court
will nonetheless address Mendez's Motion.
Court explained previously, unlike in criminal cases where a
plaintiff is constitutionally entitled to legal
representation, no such right exists in a civil suit. See
Palmer v. Valdez, 560 F.3d 965, 970 (9th Cir. 2009).
Additionally, while Mendez and the Court have used the word
“appoint” when discussing whether legal
representation is appropriate, the Court cannot actually
appoint, or require, an attorney to represent an individual
in a civil action. Under the rules governing pro se
litigants, the Court can only “request” that an
attorney represent an indigent client. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(1). Thus, even if the Court were to grant
Mendez's request, there is no guarantee that anyone would
be willing to serve as counsel. Availability, expertise, and
other constraints bear upon attorneys when deciding whether
or not to take on pro se cases.
cites multiple cases from the Ninth Circuit throughout his
motion. Some cases are relevant; others are not. While the
Court has taken the time to review each of the decisions
Mendez cited, the varying outcomes in those cases were based
upon very fact specific circumstances and nothing therein
changes the Court's analysis in the current matter.
one topic in Mendez's motion requires specific attention.
In his Complaint, Mendez's seventh cause of action was a
claim under the False Claims Act (FCA). The Court dismissed
this claim in its initial review order. Dkt. 6. As noted in
that decision, a pro se plaintiff cannot bring a qui
tam FCA lawsuit-only a licensed attorney
In his motion for reconsideration, Mendez cites numerous
cases which reiterate this point and asserts that this is
precisely why he needs representation.
problem is, this claim is not before the Court at this time.
However, the Court realizes that this puts Mendez,
and the Court, in a catch-22. The Court dismissed this
particular claim because Mendez did not have legal
representation. Now Mendez moves for counsel and part of his
reasoning is that the Court dismissed his FCA claim for lack
of representation. Essentially one hinges on the
an interesting, and somewhat circular, situation, the Court
dismissed that claim and its viability should have no bearing
on the Court's decision today. Mendez, like any
plaintiff, is free to bring whatever claims he believes are
appropriate, with the understanding that the Court has the
obligation to ensure that all claims are valid and adhere to
applicable law. Such was the case with his FCA claim.
above situation aside, Mendez has not shown any exceptional
circumstances that would require the Court to request an
attorney become involved in his case. He simply would like
one because he has limited resources at the community law
library and his case is somewhat complex. However, Mendez has
not shown why he cannot obtain counsel on his
or that he has exhausted all other available
resources. Mendez's Motion to Reconsider is
DENIED. Counsel will not be requested/appointed.
Motion for Email Service
Mendez notes, being a pro se litigant has some disadvantages.
One of those involves service of filings. As a non-attorney,
Mendez cannot have a pacer account and therefore must submit
all motions, pleadings, and documents by hand. He also
receives all correspondences with the court via U.S. mail.
Feeling that this puts him at a disadvantage, Mendez requests
that he be allowed to file and receive court documents via
his personal email. This, however, is not permitted.
District of Idaho utilizes a Case Management/Electronic Case
Filing (CM/ECF) system and adheres to specific rules to ensure
security and uniformity. If CM/ECF is not used, the only
alternative is U.S. mail and hand delivery. See
Idaho Local District Civil Rule 5.1 and Electronic Case Filing
Procedures. The Court cannot ...