(HC) Scott v. Covello

Filing 14

ORDER DENYING 13 Petitioner's Motion to Appoint Counsel, signed by Magistrate Judge Erica P. Grosjean on 10/16/2020. (Rivera, O)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 ELMAR K. SCOTT, ORDER DENYING PETITIONER’S MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL Petitioner, 12 13 Case No. 1:20-cv-01297-AWI-EPG-HC v. (ECF No. 13) 14 15 COVELLO, Respondent. 16 17 Petitioner is proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 18 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner has filed a motion to appoint counsel. (ECF No. 13). 19 There currently exists no absolute right to appointment of counsel in habeas proceedings. 20 See, e.g., Chaney v. Lewis, 801 F.2d 1191, 1196 (9th Cir. 1986); Anderson v. Heinze, 258 F.2d 21 479, 481 (9th Cir. 1958). However, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(2)(B) authorizes the appointment of 22 counsel at any stage of the proceeding for financially eligible persons if “the interests of justice 23 so require.” See Rule 8(c), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. To determine whether to 24 appoint counsel, the “court must evaluate the likelihood of success on the merits as well as the 25 ability of the petitioner to articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues 26 involved.” Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983). 27 Petitioner argues that counsel should be appointed because: the facility in which 28 Petitioner is housed is currently on a modified emergency program with limited movement and 1 1 limited access to the law library; Petitioner is currently on psychotropic medication; the issues in 2 this case are complex; and Petitioner has limited knowledge of the law. (ECF No. 13). 3 Upon review of the petition and the instant motion, the Court finds that Petitioner appears 4 to have a sufficient grasp of his claims and the legal issues involved and that he is able to 5 articulate those claims adequately. Here, the undersigned has issued findings and 6 recommendation to dismiss the petition as an unauthorized successive petition. (ECF No. 12). 7 The legal issues involved are not extremely complex, and Petitioner does not demonstrate a 8 likelihood of success on the merits such that the interests of justice require the appointment of 9 counsel at the present time. 10 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Petitioner’s motion to appoint counsel 11 (ECF No. 13) is DENIED. 12 13 14 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: October 16, 2020 /s/ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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