Flemister v. Palmer
ORDER Denying 10 Motion to Appoint Counsel. Signed by District Judge Victoria A. Roberts. (LVer)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
MERCEDES VALENTINO FLEMISTER,
Case No. 2:16-cv-13126
Honorable Victoria R. Roberts
CARMEN D. PALMER,
ORDER DENYING PETITIONER’S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL 
Petitioner Mercedes Valentino Flemister filed a pro se habeas corpus petition
challenging his state convictions for first-degree murder, armed robbery, first-degree
home invasion, unlawfully driving away an automobile, and two firearm offenses.
Petitioner alleges in his habeas petition that (1) his trial attorney’s performance
amounted to no lawyering at all, and (2) the trial court violated his right of confrontation
by allowing the jury to hear testimony about his co-defendant’s statements to a witness.
Now before the Court is Petitioner’s motion for appointment of counsel in this
case. Petitioner asserts that: he cannot afford to retain counsel; he has a limited
educational background and limited knowledge of the law; his access to the prison law
library is restricted; his case may turn on substantial and complex issues; and the ends
of justice would be served by appointment of counsel.
Petitioner has no right to appointment of counsel on habeas corpus review.
Cobas v. Burgess, 306 F.3d 441, 444 (6th Cir. 2002) (citing McCleskey v. Zant, 499
U.S. 467, 495 (1991)). Appointment of counsel in a civil proceeding such as this one,1
“is justified only in exceptional circumstances. To determine whether these exceptional
circumstances exist, courts typically consider the type of case and the ability of the
plaintiff to represent himself.” Lanier v. Bryant, 332 F.3d 999, 1006 (6th Cir. 2003)
(quotation marks and citations omitted).
Petitioner has ably represented himself so far, and he states that legal writers
from the Michigan Department of Corrections Legal Writ Program are assisting him.
Further, the interests of justice do not require appointment of counsel because the
issues are not complex. The Court, therefore, denies Petitioner’s motion to appoint
counsel (ECF No. 10).
S/Victoria A. Roberts
Victoria A. Roberts
United States District Judge
Dated: December 6, 2017
The undersigned certifies that a copy of this
document was served on the attorneys of record
and Mercedes Valentino Flemister by electronic
means or U.S. Mail on December 6, 2017.
“It is well settled that habeas corpus is a civil proceeding.” Browder v. Dir. Dep’t of
Corr. of Illinois, 434 U.S. 257, 269 (1978) (citing Fisher v. Baker, 203 U.S. 174, 181
(1906); Ex parte Tom Tong, 108 U.S. 556 (1883); and Heflin v. United States, 358 U.S.
415, 418 n. 7 (1959)).
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