West v. Foster et al

Filing 14

ORDER that the Petitioner's motion to reconsider appointment of counsel 9 is DENIED. Signed by Judge James C. Mahan on 4/12/11. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - ECS)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF NEVADA 9 10 MERRY WEST, 11 Petitioner, 12 vs. 13 SHERYL FOSTER, 14 Respondent. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) 2:10-CV-02086-JCM-RJJ ORDER 15 This is a petition for writ of habeas corpus filed by petitioner Merry West, appearing pro 16 se. Petitioner has also filed a motion for reconsideration of the court’s order denying her motion to 17 appoint counsel (ECF No. 9). She has recently written a letter to the court regarding that motion (ECF 18 No. 13). Letters to the court and other ex parte communications are permitted only in the case where 19 a matter has been submitted for decision for longer than 60 days, which is not the case here. See Local 20 Rules of Practice 7-6. Petitioner is discouraged from writing letters to the court or the clerk of the court, 21 and such communications, except as allowed above, shall be stricken from the record. 22 is no constitutional right to appointed counsel for a federal habeas corpus proceeding. Pennsylvania v. 23 Finley, 481 U.S. 551, 555 (1987); Bonin v. Vasquez, 999 F.2d 425, 428 (9th Cir. 1993). The decision 24 to appoint counsel is generally discretionary. Chaney v. Lewis, 801 F.2d 1191, 1196 (9th Cir. 1986), 25 cert. denied, 481 U.S. 1023 (1987); Bashor v. Risley, 730 F.2d 1228, 1234 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 469 26 U.S. 838 (1984). However, counsel must be appointed if the complexities of the case are such that T ee hr 1 denial of counsel would amount to a denial of due process, and where the petitioner is a person of such 2 limited education as to be incapable of fairly presenting his claims. See Chaney, 801 F.2d at 1196; see 3 also Hawkins v. Bennett, 423 F.2d 948 (8th Cir. 1970). 4 As previously noted, petitioner is incarcerated for a term of ten years to life on a 5 conviction for larceny from a person over 60 with a habitual criminal adjudication. In her petition for 6 writ of habeas corpus, petitioner raises five claims for relief. The petition presents a coherent document, 7 which is well written. In her renewed motion for counsel, petitioner points out that she has serious 8 health issues causing her to be hospitalized on occasion. She contends she is unable to effectively 9 represent herself in this matter due to her lack of familiarity with the law. She acknowledges that she 10 has been able to obtain the assistance of another inmate in preparing her petition. Petitioner has not 11 demonstrated to the court that she would be denied due process if counsel is not appointed. The motion 12 to reconsider appointment of counsel shall be denied. 13 14 15 IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the motion to reconsider appointment of counsel (ECF No. 9) is DENIED. Dated this 12th day of April, 2011. 16 __________________________________ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 2

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