Correira v. Medeiros
Judge Indira Talwani: ORDER entered denying without prejudice 10 Motion to Appoint Counsel. [Copy of order sent to petitioner by first-class mail on 2/10/2017.] (PSSA, 3)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
STEVEN D. CORREIA,
Civil Action No. 16-cv-12531-IT
SUPERINTENDENT SEAN MEDEIROS,
February 10, 2017
For the reasons set forth below, the court denies without prejudice the petitioner’s motion
for appointment of counsel.
On December 6, 2016, Steven D. Correia (“Correia”) filed a petition for a writ of habeas
corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Correia challenges his 1990 convictions for aggravated rape,
kidnapping, and armed robbery, arguing that his rights under the Sixth Amendment were
violated because the courtroom was closed during jury empanelment. The petition was served
and the respondent has until March 31, 2017 to respond to the petition.
Correia also has filed a motion for the appointment of counsel [#10]. Under the Criminal
Justice Act (“CJA”), 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, the court may appoint counsel for a “financially
eligible” habeas petitioner if “the interests of justice so require.” 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(2). In
determining whether the interests of justice require the appointment of counsel, the court must
examine the totality of the circumstances, considering, inter alia, whether the petitioner has
presented a colorable claim, the complexity of the legal issues, the intricacy of any factual issues,
and the petitioner’s ability to represent himself. See United States v. Gall, 829 F.3d 64, 72 (1st
Cir. 2016); United States v. Guadalupe-Quinones, 65 Fed. Appx. 329, 333 (1st Cir. 2003). In
addition, counsel will be appointed for an indigent petitioner if the court conducts an evidentiary
hearing. See Rule 8(c) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases.
Here, the interests of justice do not require the appointment of CJA counsel at present.
Because the respondent has not replied to the petition, the court cannot yet evaluate whether this
is an action in which appointment of counsel under the CJA is merited.
Accordingly, the motion for appointment of counsel [#10] is DENIED WITHOUT
PREJUDICE. Correia may renew his motion after the respondent has replied to the petition.
/s/ Indira Talwani
United States District Judge
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