PANNELL v. NEAL
ENTRY denying 8 Motion to Appoint Counsel. Signed by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on 11/9/2012. Copy Mailed. (JD) Modified to opinion on 11/9/2012 (JD).
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
SUPERINTENDENT, Indiana State )
The petitioner’s motion for the appointment of counsel has been considered.
The Sixth Amendment right to counsel does not apply in habeas corpus
actions. Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 755 (1991). However, a district court
does have the authority to appoint counsel to represent a habeas petitioner
whenever it "determines that the interests of justice so require. . . ." 18 U.S.C. '
Whether to appoint counsel is committed to the discretion of the trial court.
United States v. Evans, 51 F.3d 287 (10th Cir. 1995). Factors which the court may
consider include: (1) whether the merits of the indigent's claim are colorable; (2)
ability of the indigent to investigate crucial facts; (3) whether the nature of the
evidence indicates that the truth will more likely be exposed where both sides are
represented by counsel; (4) capability of the indigent to present his case; and (5)
complexity of the legal issues raised by the complaint. Wilson v. Duckworth, 716
F.2d 415, 418 (7th Cir. 1983).
Application of the foregoing factors in this case indicates that the petitioner=s
claims are not particularly complex, that there is no likelihood that an evidentiary
hearing will be necessary, that no discovery or other investigation will be required,
that due allowance to the petitioner=s pro se status will be made and that the
petitioner has at least thus far demonstrated adequate ability to express and
present his claims. In addition, the petitioner has the means (writing materials,
etc.) to continue to present his claims in this action; the petitioner is literate and
seems fully aware of the proceedings involving his conviction and sentence in the
Indiana state courts.
These are not circumstances in which it is in the interest of justice to appoint
counsel for the petitioner, and for this reason his motion for appointment of counsel
[Dkt. 8] is denied.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Indiana State Prison
One Park Row
Michigan City, IN 46360
Hon. Tanya Walton Pratt, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
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