Griffin v. Warden Perry Correctional Institution
ORDER affirming the 40 Magistrate Judge's Order denying Petitioner's Motion to Appoint Counsel. Signed by Honorable Mary Geiger Lewis on 7/10/2017. (bgoo)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
ROCK HILL DIVISION
WARDEN PERRY CORRECTIONAL
CIVIL ACTION NO. 0:16-03691-MGL-PJG
ORDER AFFIRMING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S ORDER
DENYING PETITIONER’S MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL
This case was filed as a 28 U.S.C. § 2254 action. Petitioner is proceeding pro se. Pending
before the Court is Petitioner’s Appeal of Magistrate Judge Decision (Appeal). ECF No. 43. In the
Appeal, Petitioner contends the Magistrate Judge’s Order, ECF No. 40, denying Petitioner’s Motion
to Appoint Counsel, is erroneous. Petitioner avers the Magistrate Judge’s “denial of appointment
of counsel deprives Petitioner/Plaintiff of fundamental fairness, and creates a major disadvantage.”
ECF No. 43 at 1.
When a party objects to a Magistrate Judge’s pretrial order, the “district judge in the case
must consider timely objections and modify or set aside any part of the order that is clearly
erroneous or is contrary to law.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). Under this clear
error standard, the Court will reverse the Magistrate Judge’s holdings only if it is “left with the
definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.” United States v. Harvey, 532 F.3d
326, 337 (4th Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks omitted).
As noted by the Magistrate Judge, there is no right to appointed counsel in habeas cases. See
Pennsylvania v. Finley, 481 U.S. 551, 555 (1987); Hunt v. Nuth, 57 F.3d 1327, 1340 (4th Cir. 1995).
The Court may appoint an attorney for a petitioner if “the [C]ourt determines that the interests of
justice so require.” 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(2)(B). Having carefully reviewed Petitioner’s Appeal,
the Magistrate Judge’s Order, the record, and the applicable law, the Court agrees with the
Magistrate Judge that, at this juncture, the interests of justice do not require appointment of counsel
for Petitioner. The Court is thus unable to say it is “left with the definite and firm conviction that
a mistake has been committed” by the Magistrate Judge. Harvey, 532 F.3d at 337. Consequently,
the Court is also unable to hold the Magistrate Judge’s Order, ECF No. 40, is clearly erroneous or
contrary to law. As such, the Magistrate Judge’s Order denying Petitioner’s Motion to Appoint
Counsel is AFFIRMED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Signed this 10th day of July, 2017, in Columbia, South Carolina.
s/ Mary Geiger Lewis
MARY GEIGER LEWIS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
NOTICE OF RIGHT TO APPEAL
The parties are hereby notified of the right to appeal this Order within thirty days from the
date hereof, pursuant to Rules 3 and 4 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.
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