Sanders v. Rednour
ORDER DENYING 75 MOTION to Appoint Counsel filed by Steven R. Sanders and 77 MOTION for Hearing filed by Steven R. Sanders. Signed by Magistrate Judge Reona J. Daly on 2/14/2018. (ely)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
Case No. 11-683-DRH-RJD
DALY, Magistrate Judge:
Petitioner Steven Sanders filed this habeas case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in August
2011. Petitioner claims that his trial counsel was ineffective for: (1) failing to call a forensic or
medical expert witness, (2) failing to call police officers to testify, and (3) failing to adequately
investigate the case. This matter is before the Court on two motions: Petitioner’s motion for an
evidentiary hearing (Doc. 77), and his motion for appointment of counsel (Doc. 75). For the
reasons below, both motions are DENIED.
1. Evidentiary Hearing
In a § 2254 case where the issue is whether a state court contradicted the Supreme Court or
resolved an issue unreasonably, a petitioner is not entitled to an evidentiary hearing. Bland v.
Hardy, 672 F.3d 445, 450 (7th Cir. 2012). Review proceeds on the evidentiary record compiled
in state court. Id. (citing Cullen v. Pinholster , 131 S.Ct. 1388 (2011)).
The Illinois Court of Appeals concluded that trial counsel was not ineffective. Having
closely examined the record before it, the Court concludes Petitioner’s claims concerning the
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constitutionality of the Illinois courts’ application of Illinois law, do not warrant an evidentiary
hearing. Petitioner’s motion for an evidentiary hearing (Doc. 77) is therefore DENIED.
2. Appointment of Counsel
Prisoners do not have the right to counsel on collateral review. Pennsylvania v. Finley,
481 U.S. 551, 555 (1987); Lavin v. Rednour, 641 F.3d 830, 833 (7th Cir. 2011); Pruitt v. Mote, 503
F.3d 647, 657 (7th Cir. 2007). But a magistrate judge has broad discretion to appoint counsel in
appropriate cases. See 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(2)(B). The standard governing that discretion has
two prongs: (1) has the petitioner made a reasonable attempt to obtain counsel or been effectively
precluded from doing so; and if so, (2) given the difficulty of the case, does the petitioner appear
competent to litigate it himself. Pruitt, 503 F.3d at 654.
Here, the Court has reviewed Petitioner's pleadings, and again finds that he demonstrates
an ability to communicate clearly and effectively and an understanding of the law and the facts of
his case. Petitioner’s motion for appointment of counsel (Doc. 75) is therefore DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: February 14, 2018
s/ Reona J. Daly
Hon. Reona J. Daly
United States Magistrate Judge
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