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Vella v. Clark

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


September 11, 2008

JOHN ANTHONY VELLA, PETITIONER,
v.
KEN CLARK, WARDEN, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.

ORDER

Petitioner is a state prisoner without counsel seeking a writ of habeas corpus. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254. On August 6, 2008, petitioner requested an extension of time to file and serve an opposition to respondents' July 8, 2008, motion to dismiss. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(b). That request is granted.

On August 21, 2008, petitioner filed a request for an order directing prison officials to provide him with preferred legal user ("PLU") access to the law library and to produce "all personal property." Pet.'s Aug. 21, 2008 Mot. at 1. Petitioner attaches to his request the librarian's August 7, 2008, denial of his request for PLU status. The denial states that petitioner should resubmit his request once he can provide court documentation that he has a filing deadline. See Cal. Code Regs, tit. 15, § 3122 (stating that inmates with established court deadlines shall be given higher priority to access law library resources than those with longer deadlines or without a deadline). As set forth herein, the court has set a deadline by which petitioner must file and serve his opposition to respondents' motion to dismiss, and thus, petitioner's request for court-ordered PLU access to the law library is unnecessary. Additionally, it is unclear what petitioner seeks by his request for the production of "all personal property." If petitioner seeks such injunctive relief, he is referred to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65 and Local Rule 65-231, both of which govern motions for such relief.

In the same August 21, 2008 filing, petitioner also requests that the court appoint counsel. There currently exists no absolute right to appointment of counsel in habeas proceedings. See Nevius v. Sumner, 105 F.3d 453, 460 (9th Cir. 1996). The court may appoint counsel at any stage of the proceedings "if the interests of justice so require." See 18 U.S.C. § 3006A; see also Rule 8(c), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. The court does not find that the interests of justice would be served by the appointment of counsel at this stage of the proceedings.

Accordingly, it hereby is ORDERED that:

1. Petitioner's August 6, 2008, request for extension of time is granted and petitioner has sixty days from the date this order is served to file and serve an opposition to respondents' July 8, 2008, motion to dismiss.

2. Petitioner's August 21, 2008, request for an order directing prison officials to provide him with PLU access to the law library and to produce all personal property is denied.

3. Petitioner's August 21, 2008, petition for appointment of counsel is denied without prejudice.

20080911

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