Biagas v. Walker

Filing 15

ORDER re 12 Declaration in Support filed by Vincent James Biagas. Signed by Judge ARMSTRONG on 5/18/12. (lrc, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/23/2012)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 13 14 15 No. C 10-02429 SBA (PR) VINCENT BIAGAS, ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL Petitioner, v. JAMES WALKER, Respondent. / 16 17 On April 23, 2012, Petitioner filed a document captioned, "Sworn Affidavit In Support of 18 Motion for the Appointment of Counsel" (docket no. 12). The Court construes Petitioner's filing as 19 a motion for appointment of counsel. In his motion, Petitioner asserts that the pending action has 20 become so complex that he is unable to competently represent himself. He also reminds the Court of 21 his history of mental illness. 22 The Sixth Amendment right to counsel does not apply in habeas corpus actions. See 23 Knaubert v. Goldsmith, 791 F.2d 722, 728 (9th Cir. 1986). Title 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(2)(B), 24 however, authorizes a district court to appoint counsel to represent a habeas petitioner whenever "the 25 court determines that the interests of justice so require" and such person is financially unable to 26 obtain representation. The decision to appoint counsel is within the discretion of the district court. 27 See Chaney v. Lewis, 801 F.2d 1191, 1196 (9th Cir. 1986); Knaubert, 791 F.2d at 728; Bashor v. 28 Risley, 730 F.2d 1228, 1234 (9th Cir. 1984). The courts have made appointment of counsel the 1 exception rather than the rule by limiting it to: (1) capital cases; (2) cases that turn on substantial and 2 complex procedural, legal or mixed legal and factual questions; (3) cases involving uneducated or 3 mentally or physically impaired petitioners; (4) cases likely to require the assistance of experts either 4 in framing or in trying the claims; (5) cases in which petitioner is in no position to investigate crucial 5 facts; and (6) factually complex cases. See generally 1 J. Liebman & R. Hertz, Federal Habeas 6 Corpus Practice and Procedure § 12.3b at 383-86 (2d ed. 1994). Appointment is mandatory only 7 when the circumstances of a particular case indicate that appointed counsel is necessary to prevent 8 due process violations. See Chaney, 801 F.2d at 1196; Eskridge v. Rhay, 345 F.2d 778, 782 (9th 9 Cir. 1965). United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 At this stage of the proceedings, the Court is not persuaded that the appointment of counsel is 11 necessary to prevent the violation of Petitioner's due process rights. Accordingly, the interests of 12 justice do not require appointment of counsel at this time, and Petitioner's request is DENIED. This 13 denial is without prejudice to the Court's sua sponte reconsideration following the filing by 14 Respondents of either a renewed motion to dismiss or an answer to the Court's Order to Show Cause 15 why the petition should not be granted. 16 This Order terminates Docket no. 12. 17 IT IS SO ORDERED. 18 Dated: 5/18/12 19 SAUNDRA BROWN ARMSTRONG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 G:\PRO-SE\SBA\HC.10\Biagas2429.denyATTY.frm 2 1 2 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 4 5 VINCENT BIASAS, 6 Case Number: CV10-02429 SBA Plaintiff, 7 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE v. 8 JAMES WALKER et al, 9 Defendant. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 13 14 / I, the undersigned, hereby certify that I am an employee in the Office of the Clerk, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. That on May 23, 2012, I SERVED a true and correct copy(ies) of the attached, by placing said copy(ies) in a postage paid envelope addressed to the person(s) hereinafter listed, by depositing said envelope in the U.S. Mail, or by placing said copy(ies) into an inter-office delivery receptacle located in the Clerk's office. 15 16 17 18 19 20 Vincent James Biagas D-66188 CSP-Sacramento CA State Prison-Folsom(New) P O Box 290066 Represa, CA 95671 Dated: May 23, 2012 Richard W. Wieking, Clerk By: Lisa Clark, Deputy Clerk 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 G:\PRO-SE\SBA\HC.10\Biagas2429.denyATTY.frm 3

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