Joseph v. United States of America
ORDER granting in part and denying in part 9 Motion for Extension of Time to File and MOTION to Appoint Counsel. This case is REFERRED to the Courts Volunteer Attorney Program. Signed by Judge Beth Bloom on 6/2/2021. See attached document for full details. (ail)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
Case No. 20-cv-62041-BLOOM
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
THIS CAUSE is before the Court upon a sua sponte review of the record after this case
was transferred to the undersigned and upon pro se Petitioner Gedeon Joseph’s Motion for
Extension of Time to Reply and Motion to Appoint Counsel, ECF No.  (“Motion”). The Court
has carefully reviewed the Motion, the record in this case, the applicable law, and is otherwise
First, with regard to Petitioner’s request for additional time to file a reply to the Order to
Show Cause in this case, see ECF No. , the Court notes that the request for an extension was
postmarked on December 18, 2020, and was filed on this Court’s docket on January 12, 2021, see
ECF No. . Further, although Petitioner has not submitted any reply in the interim, he has
submitted numerous filings questioning the status of his case. See ECF Nos.  & . In light
of these inquiries, the Court believes that one additional extension is warranted, and the Motion is
therefore granted with respect to this issue. Petitioner may submit a reply, if any, to the Order to
Show Cause, by no later than June 18, 2021. No further extensions will be granted absent
Case No. 20-cv-62041-BLOOM
Next, the Court addresses Petitioner’s request for appointment of counsel. A plaintiff has
no constitutional right to counsel in a civil case, and the decision to appoint counsel is within the
Court’s discretion. Suggs v. United States, 199 F. App’x 804, 807 (11th Cir. 2006). Indeed, counsel
should only be appointed in “exceptional circumstances.” Id. (citing Dean v. Barber, 951 F.2d
1210, 1216 (11th Cir. 1992)). Exceptional circumstances exist when there are “facts and legal
issues which are so novel or complex as to require the assistance of a trained practitioner.” Kilgo
v. Ricks, 983 F.2d 189, 193 (11th Cir. 1993) (quoting Poole v. Lambert, 819 F.2d 1025,1028 (11th
Cir. 1987)) (quotations and alteration omitted). “The key is whether the pro se litigant needs help
in presenting the essential merits of his or her position to the court.” Suggs, 199 F. App’x at 807
(quoting Kilgo, 983 F.2d at 193).
After careful review of the record in this case, the Court does not find that Petitioner’s
claims present such exceptional circumstances that counsel should be appointed. Therefore,
Petitioner’s Motion is granted as it relates to his request for counsel. Nevertheless, this case shall
be referred to the Volunteer Attorney Program, where a volunteer attorney may accept the
representation on a pro bono basis, if they so desire.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Petitioner’s Motion, ECF No. ,
is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Petitioner may submit a reply to the Order to Show
Cause, by no later than June 18, 2021. Any such reply must be received by the Clerk of Court
and filed on the public docket by the stated deadline and no late submissions will be accepted. In
other words, Petitioner must, in accordance with the mailbox rule, ensure that he prepares, signs,
and hands his reply documents to prison authorities for filing with sufficient time so that it reaches
this Court on or before the scheduled due date.
Case No. 20-cv-62041-BLOOM
This case is REFERRED to the Court’s Volunteer Attorney Program, where a volunteer
attorney may accept the representation on a pro bono basis if so desired. The Clerk of Court is
directed to post Petitioner’s contact information and the case description below on the Court’s
website of available pro bono cases seeking volunteer lawyers. If the representation is accepted,
the volunteer attorney shall enter an appearance in the case and thereafter will be eligible for
reimbursement of reasonable litigation expenses pursuant to the Court’s Reimbursement
Guidelines for Volunteer Counsel.
The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED TO POST the following case description:
Petitioner Gedeon Joseph has filed a habeas petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2255
challenging the constitutionality of his convictions and sentences for conspiracy to
commit Hobbs Act robbery and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of
violence, which were entered following a guilty plea in Case No.19-cr-60055-UU2. Petitioner argues that he was denied effective assistance of counsel because
(1) his counsel failed to provide him with any discovery during his case and (2) his
attorney failed to present any argument challenging Petitioner’s convictions or
sentences based on United States v. Davis, 139 S. Ct. 2319 (2019).
DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at Miami, Florida, on June 2, 2021.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Counsel of Record
Gilmer Federal Correctional Institution
Post Office Box 6000
Glenville, WV 26351
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