Howard v. Houston
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER denying 18 Motion to Appoint Counsel. Ordered by Senior Judge Richard G. Kopf. (Copy mailed to pro se party) (JSF)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA
STUART D. HOWARD,
ROBERT P. HOUSTON,
This matter is before the court on Petitioner’s Motion to Appoint Counsel. (Filing No.
18.) “[T]here is neither a constitutional nor statutory right to counsel in habeas proceedings;
instead, [appointment of counsel] is committed to the discretion of the trial court.” McCall
v. Benson, 114 F.3d 754, 756 (8th Cir. 1997) (citations omitted). As a general rule, counsel
will not be appointed unless the case is unusually complex or the petitioner’s ability to
investigate and articulate the claims is unusually impaired or an evidentiary hearing is
required. See, e.g., Morris v. Dormire, 217 F.3d 556, 558-59 (8th Cir. 2000), cert. denied, 531
U.S. 984 (2000); Hoggard v. Purkett, 29 F.3d 469, 471 (8th Cir. 1994) (citations omitted); see
also Rule 8(c) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts
(requiring appointment of counsel if an evidentiary hearing is warranted). Upon review of the
pleadings and Petitioner’s Motion, there is no need for the appointment of counsel at this time.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that: Petitioner’s Motion to Appoint Counsel (Filing
No. 18) is denied.
DATED this 4th day of March, 2013.
BY THE COURT:
Richard G. Kopf
Senior United States District Judge
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