Stamps v. Grounds

Filing 48

ORDER GRANTING 47 MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION AND GRANTING MOTION TO WITHDRAW AS COUNSEL AND APPOINTING COUNSEL FOR PETITIONER. Signed by Judge Beth Labson Freeman on 2/15/2017. (blflc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/15/2017) (Additional attachment(s) added on 2/15/2017: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service) (tshS, COURT STAFF).

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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 SAN JOSE DIVISION 6 7 KEITH STAMPS, Case No. 12-cv-05753-BLF Plaintiff, 8 v. 9 10 RANDY GROUNDS, Defendant. [Re: ECF 47] 11 United States District Court Northern District of California ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION AND GRANTING MOTION TO WITHDRAW AS COUNSEL AND APPOINTING COUNSEL FOR PETITIONER 12 13 On February 3, 2017, Petitioner’s counsel Donald T. Bergerson filed a motion to withdraw 14 as attorney of record, which was “predicat[ed] . . . on the provision of replacement counsel for the 15 indigent Stamps.” ECF 45. The Court construed Mr. Bergerson’s motion to withdraw as 16 conditional upon the Court’s granting his motion to appoint counsel. As the Court denied the 17 motion to appoint counsel, the Court terminated the motion to withdraw as moot. ECF 46. 18 Now before the Court is Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration of this Court’s prior order. 19 See Mot., ECF 47. Civil Local Rule 7-9 provides that “[b]efore the entry of a judgment 20 adjudicating all of the claims and the rights and liabilities of all the parties in a case, any party may 21 make a motion before a Judge requesting that the Judge grant the party leave to file a motion for 22 reconsideration of any interlocutory order . . . . No party may notice a motion for reconsideration 23 without first obtaining leave of Court to file the motion.” Civ. L.R. 7-9(a). Although Petitioner’s 24 motion is captioned as a request for reconsideration, the Court construes it as a motion for leave to 25 file a motion for reconsideration and the motion for reconsideration itself. For the reasons 26 discussed herein, the Court GRANTS leave to file the motion for reconsideration and GRANTS 27 the motion for reconsideration. 28 A motion for reconsideration may be made on three grounds: (1) a material difference in 1 fact or law exists from that which was presented to the court, which, in the exercise of reasonable 2 diligence, the moving party did not know at the time of the order for which reconsideration is 3 sought; (2) the emergence of new material facts or a change of law; or (3) a manifest failure by the 4 court to consider material facts or dispositive legal arguments. Civ. L.R. 7-9(b). The moving 5 party may not reargue any written or oral argument previously asserted to the court. Civ. L.R. 7- 6 9(c). 7 In his motion, Petitioner clarifies that his prior motion was not intended to be a request for 8 withdrawal conditioned upon the Court’s granting his request for appointment of counsel, but 9 rather two separate requests. See generally Mot. Given the Court’s misunderstanding of Petitioner’s prior request, the Court GRANTS Petitioner’s motion for leave to file a motion for 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 reconsideration and deems the pending request for reconsideration as the motion for 12 reconsideration. Additionally, finding good cause, the Court GRANTS Mr. Bergerson’s request to 13 withdraw as counsel effective February 13, 2017. Mot. 1 (citing disabling illness and possible 14 conflict of interest). 15 Petitioner also urges the Court to reconsider its order denying the appointment of counsel. 16 Id. at 2. Petitioner asks the Court to exercise its discretionary authority to appoint counsel “due to 17 the specific equities of this case.” Id. Although a state petitioner does not have a federal 18 constitutional right to the appointment of counsel in habeas proceedings, a petitioner may be 19 entitled to appointed counsel upon a showing that the circumstances of his case indicate that 20 appointed counsel is necessary to prevent due process violations. See Anderson v. Heinze, 258 21 F.2d 479, 481 (9th Cir. 1958); Chaney v. Lewis, 801 F.2d 1191, 1196 (9th Cir. 1986); see also 18 22 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(2) (providing that a district court has discretion to appoint counsel for state 23 habeas corpus petitioners when it determines “that the interests of justice so require”). In light of 24 the unique facts of this case—specifically, that the California Supreme Court denied his petition 25 “without prejudice to any relief to which petitioner might be entitled after this court decides In re 26 Alatriste, S214652 and In re Bonilla, S214960,” and those cases have since been remanded to the 27 Los Angeles Superior Court—and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Miller v. Alabama, 132 S. 28 Ct. 2455 (2012), the Court finds the appointment of counsel necessary to prevent due process 2 1 2 violations. Accordingly, the Court GRANTS Petitioner’s motion to appoint counsel. IT IS SO ORDERED. 3 4 5 6 Dated: February 15, 2017 ______________________________________ BETH LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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