Green v. Chappius
DECISION AND ORDER: Petitioner's Motion to Appoint Counsel 23 is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE, and his Motion for an Order directing Respondent to produce various documents 24 is DENIED. SO ORDERED. A Copy of this NEF and Decision and Order have been mailed to the pro se Petitioner. Signed by Hon. Frank P. Geraci, Jr. on 10/5/2017. (AFM)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Case # 16-CV-349-FPG
DECISION AND ORDER
PAUL CHAPPIUS, JR.,
Pro se petitioner Curlie Green (“Petitioner”) seeks a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254. ECF No. 1. On July 10, 2017, Petitioner moved to appoint counsel (ECF No. 23),
and on September 15, 2017, he moved for an order directing Respondent to produce various
documents (ECF No. 24). For the reasons that follow, Petitioner’s Motion to Appoint Counsel
(ECF No. 23) is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE, and his Motion for an Order directing
Respondent to produce various documents (ECF No. 24) is DENIED.
Appointment of Counsel
Prisoners have no constitutional right to counsel when bringing collateral attacks upon their
convictions. Pennsylvania v. Finley, 481 U.S. 551, 555 (1987). However, the Court may appoint
counsel in the interests of justice to any person seeking relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 who is
financially unable to obtain representation. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(h). The Court considers several
factors in determining whether to assign counsel, including whether the indigent’s claims seem
likely to be of substance; whether the indigent is able to investigate the facts concerning his claim;
whether the legal issues are complex; and whether there are special reasons why the appointment
of counsel would be more likely to lead to a just determination. See Hendricks v. Coughlin, 114
F.3 390, 392 (2d Cir. 1997); Hodge v. Police Officers, 802 F.2d 58 (2d Cir. 1986). The Court must
consider the issue of appointment carefully because “every assignment of a volunteer lawyer to an
undeserving client deprives society of a volunteer lawyer available for a deserving cause.” Cooper
v. A. Sargenti Co. Inc., 877 F.2d 170, 172 (2d Cir. 1989).
Petitioner has not provided the Court with any information suggesting that the interests of
justice require the appointment of counsel at this time. Rather, Petitioner asserts in a conclusory
fashion that his “case is one of substance and the issues have merit.” ECF No. 23 at 1. Petitioner
has adequately articulated his claims to the Court throughout the various letters and motions he
has filed. Accordingly, Petitioner’s Motion to Appoint Counsel (ECF No. 23) is DENIED
Motion to Produce Documents
Petitioner also asks that the Court order Respondent to produce certain documents. ECF
No. 24. Pursuant to the Court’s order dated March 3, 2017, Respondent was directed to “provide
to the Court the transcript of [any trial, pre-trial, or post-trial evidentiary proceeding], together
with any record(s) of, and documents relating to, such proceeding, and such documents will be
filed in the official record of this case.” ECF No. 15 at 1-2. Petitioner asserts that the Court should
direct Respondent to provide “missing exhibits” along with “suppression transcripts and all other
materials.” ECF No. 24 at 1-2. Petitioner describes the “missing exhibits” as those that were
attached to his motion to withdraw his plea in state court. Id. at 1. Specifically, he refers to
Exhibits A and B, which appear to be transcripts from pre-trial conferences on August 29,
September 10, and September 11, 2012. ECF No. 24 at 1; ECF No. 20 at 55.
The docket indicates that the Clerk of Court received the state court records related to this
matter on May 12, 2017. The Court has reviewed those records and they contain the transcripts
from the pre-trial conferences mentioned above and suppression hearing materials. Accordingly,
the Court already has the records that Petitioner wants Respondent to produce, and therefore his
motion (ECF No. 24) is DENIED.
For the reasons stated, Petitioner’s Motion to Appoint Counsel (ECF No. 23) is DENIED
WITHOUT PREJUDICE, and his Motion for an Order directing Respondent to produce various
documents (ECF No. 24) is DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: October 5, 2017
Rochester, New York
HON. FRANK P. GERACI, JR.
United States District Court
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