Hurlbert v. Muniz et al

Filing 21

ORDER Denying 18 Motion for Appointment of Counsel. Signed by Magistrate Judge Peter C. Lewis on 11/24/15. (All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(dlg)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 GRANT DALE HURLBERT, Case No. 15cv752 AJB (PCL) 12 Petitioner, ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL 13 v. 14 MUNIZ et al., (Doc. 18) 15 Respondent. 16 17 18 MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL Petitioner requests the Court appoint counsel to assist him in his habeas case because he 19 is inept to handle legal matters. (Doc. 28.) 20 The Sixth Amendment right to counsel does not extend to federal habeas corpus actions 21 by state prisoners. See McCleskey v. Zant, 499 U.S. 467, 495 (1991 (citing Pennsylvania v. 22 Finley, 481 U.S. 551, 555 (1987) (“The right to appointed counsel extends to the first appeal of 23 right, and no further”); Nevius v. Sumner, 105 F.3d 453, 460 (9th Cir. 1996) (noting that there 24 currently exists no constitutional right to appointment of counsel in habeas proceedings); Chaney 25 v. Lewis, 801 F.2d 1191, 1196 (9th Cir. 1986). However, courts may appoint counsel for 26 financially eligible habeas petitioners seeking relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 where “the 27 interests of justice so require.” 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(2)(B); Chaney, 801 F.2d at 1196. Whether 28 or not to appoint counsel is a matter left to the court’s discretion, unless an evidentiary hearing is necessary. See Knaubert v. Goldsmith, 791 F.2d 722, 728-30 (9th Cir. 1986) (explaining that the 1 interests of justice require appointment of counsel when the court conducts an evidentiary 2 hearing on the petition). “In deciding whether to appoint counsel in a habeas proceeding, the 3 district court must evaluate the likelihood of success on the merits as well as the ability of the 4 petitioner to articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved.” 5 Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983). 6 Here, Petitioner has been able to articulate his habeas claims to this Court. He also has 7 not shown that he is likely to be successful on the merits. Thus, Petitioner’s motion for 8 appointment of counsel is hereby DENIED. 9 IT IS SO ORDERED. 10 DATE: November 24, 2015 11 Peter C. Lewis U.S. Magistrate Judge United States District Court 12 13 14 15 cc: The Honorable Battaglia All Parties and Counsel of Record 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 15cv752 AJB (PCL) 2

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