Dance v. United States of America

Filing 6

ORDER denying petitioner's 2 Motion to Appoint Counsel by Judge Ricardo S Martinez.(RS) cc petitioner

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 6 7 8 DAVID RICHARD DANCE, Petitioner, 9 10 v. 11 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 12 Respondent. 13 14 15 ) ) CASE NO. C17-0156RSM ) ) ) ORDER DENYING MOTION TO ) APPOINT COUNSEL ) ) ) This matter comes before the Court on Petitioner’s Motion to Appoint Counsel. Dkt. #2. Petitioner filed a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 16 2255 on February 2, 2017. Dkt. #1. The motion has been served on the government and the 17 18 Court currently awaits a response. See Dkt. #5. In his motion for appointed counsel, Petitioner 19 states that he is seeking counsel to assist with his habeas petition because he is untrained in the 20 law, he is in custody, and he believes his claims are meritorious. Id. 21 In a case brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, a district court may appoint counsel in the 22 23 “interest of justice”. 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(2)(B); Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th 24 Cir. 1983). “In deciding whether to appoint counsel in a habeas proceeding, the district court 25 must evaluate the likelihood of success on the merits as well as the ability of the petitioner to 26 articulate his claims pro se in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved.” Weygandt, 27 28 ORDER PAGE - 1 1 2 3 4 718 F.2d at 954. The Court does not find that justice requires the appointment of counsel at this time. First, the issues presented in Mr. Dance’s motion are not particularly complex. See Dkt. #1-1 (alleging several bases for his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel). Further, Mr. 5 Dance has submitted a 42-page memorandum in support of his petition, along with numerous 6 7 supporting exhibits, demonstrating that he is able to effectively articulate his claims. Id. In 8 addition, at this early stage of the litigation, there is no record before the Court that would 9 allow it to adequately examine whether Mr. Dance’s claims have merit. 10 Accordingly, the Court hereby finds and ORDERS that Petitioner’s Motion to Appoint 11 Counsel (Dkt. #2) is DENIED without prejudice. This Order does not preclude Petitioner from 12 13 re-filing his motion once a factual record pertaining to his claims has been more fully 14 developed. 15 DATED this 24th day of February, 2017. 16 17 A 18 RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ORDER PAGE - 2

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