Idaho prisoner Maxwell Hoffman sued in federal court, challenging his conditions of confinement. The district court dismissed the action as moot, without ruling on Hoffman’s request for counsel.
The Ninth Circuit found the lower court erred in dismissing on mootness grounds because “the district court found only that ‘some’ of Hoffman’s concerns ‘may’ be moot.”
The court also agreed “that the district court abused its discretion in dismissing his action without first ruling on his request for appointed counsel.” Citing Miles v. Dep’t of Army, 881 F2d 777, 784 (9th Cir. 1989); and McElyean v. Babbit, 833 F2d 196, 199 (9th Cir. 1987), the court observed that a “district court must rule on an application for appointment of counsel before dismissing a pro se litigant’s action.” It instructed the lower court to “consider whether Hoffman is entitled to appointed counsel under the standard set forth in Agyeman v. Corrections Cop of America, 390 F3d 1101, 1103-04 (9th Cir. 2004).” See: Hoffman v. Does, 138 Fed Appx. 4 (9th Cir. 2005).
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Related legal case
Hoffman v. Does
|Cite||138 Fed Appx. 4 (9th Cir. 2005)|
|Level||Court of Appeals|