Lee v. Secretary of the California Department of Corrections

Filing 9

ORDER by Judge ARMSTRONG denying 7 Motion to Appoint Counsel (lrc, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/1/2013)

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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 13-01742 SBA (PR) ERIC LEE, ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL Petitioner, v. RANDY GROUNDS, Acting Warden, Respondent. / 16 17 Petitioner has filed a motion for appointment of counsel in this action. 18 The Sixth Amendment right to counsel does not apply in habeas corpus actions. See 19 Knaubert v. Goldsmith, 791 F.2d 722, 728 (9th Cir. 1986). Title 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(2)(B), 20 however, authorizes a district court to appoint counsel to represent a habeas petitioner whenever "the 21 court determines that the interests of justice so require" and such person is financially unable to 22 obtain representation. The decision to appoint counsel is within the discretion of the district court. 23 See Chaney v. Lewis, 801 F.2d 1191, 1196 (9th Cir. 1986); Knaubert, 791 F.2d at 728; Bashor v. 24 Risley, 730 F.2d 1228, 1234 (9th Cir. 1984). The courts have made appointment of counsel the 25 exception rather than the rule by limiting it to: (1) capital cases; (2) cases that turn on substantial and 26 complex procedural, legal or mixed legal and factual questions; (3) cases involving uneducated or 27 mentally or physically impaired petitioners; (4) cases likely to require the assistance of experts either 28 in framing or in trying the claims; (5) cases in which petitioner is in no position to investigate crucial 1 facts; and (6) factually complex cases. See generally 1 J. Liebman & R. Hertz, Federal Habeas 2 Corpus Practice and Procedure § 12.3b at 383-86 (2d ed. 1994). Appointment is mandatory only 3 when the circumstances of a particular case indicate that appointed counsel is necessary to prevent 4 due process violations. See Chaney, 801 F.2d at 1196; Eskridge v. Rhay, 345 F.2d 778, 782 (9th 5 Cir. 1965). 6 At this early stage of the proceedings the Court is unable to determine whether the 7 appointment of counsel is mandated for Petitioner. Accordingly, the interests of justice do not 8 require appointment of counsel at this time, and Petitioner's request is DENIED. This denial is 9 without prejudice to the Court's sua sponte reconsideration should the Court find an evidentiary United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 hearing necessary following consideration of the merits of Petitioner's claims. 11 This Order terminates Docket no. 7. 12 IT IS SO ORDERED. 13 Dated: 8/1/13 14 SAUNDRA BROWN ARMSTRONG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 G:\PRO-SE\SBA\HC.13\Lee1742.DenyAtty.wpd 2 1 2 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 ERIC LEE, Case Number: CV13-01742 SBA 4 Plaintiff, CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE 5 v. 6 SECRETARY OF CDCR et al, 7 Defendant. 8 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 / 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 August 1, 2013, 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. 13 14 15 16 Eric Lee T-42633 Salinas Valley State Prison P.O. Box 1050 Soledad, CA 93960 17 18 Dated: August 1, 2013 Richard W. Wieking, Clerk By: Lisa Clark, Deputy Clerk 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 G:\PRO-SE\SBA\HC.13\Lee1742.DenyAtty.wpd 3

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