Miller v. The State of Mississippi et al
ORDER denying 11 MOTION TO COMPEL. Signed by Magistrate Judge Roy Percy on 8/29/17. (cr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
JAMIE L. MILLER
CIVIL ACTION NO.: 1:17CV88-SA-RP
THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI and
ATTORNEY GENERAL JIM HOOD
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO COMPEL
Petitioner has filed a motion requesting that an order issue compelling Respondents to
produce Petitioner’s state-court transcript and documents for inspection and copying. Doc. #11.
Federal law requires the court clerk to provide an indigent petitioner free “certified
copies of such documents or parts of the record on file in his office as may be required by order
of the judge before whom the application is pending.” See 28 U.S.C. § 2250. Therefore, under
the statute, whether to grant a request for a free transcript is a matter of the court’s discretion.
As a constitutional matter, a petitioner has no right to a free copy of his trial transcript to
“search for possible trial defects merely because he is an indigent.” Bonner v. Henderson, 517
F.2d 135, 135 (5th Cir. 1975); see also Deem v. Devasto, 140 F. App'x 574, 575 (5th Cir. 2005)
(“[T]here is no constitutional mandate that a habeas petitioner must be provided a free copy of
his state habeas trial record.”). Rather, an indigent prisoner is entitled to a free copy of his state
court records only if he can establish that a copy of the records is necessary in order for him to
present at least one of his claims. Smith v. Beto, 472 F.2d 164, 165 (5th Cir. 1972) (“[T]he
petitioner has not shown that the district court erred in holding that he had not demonstrated a
need for the trial transcript in proving a denial of effective counsel.”).
The court finds that Petitioner has fully presented his claims to the court, and he has not
shown any specific need for a copy of his entire state-court record. Additionally, this court has
already ordered Respondents to file an answer or other responsive pleading in this matter, along
with all relevant transcripts. Doc. #5. Therefore, the court will have the necessary records to
review Petitioner’s claims, and the instant motion  is DENIED.
SO ORDERED this the 29th day of August, 2017.
/s/ Roy Percy
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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