IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
January 14, 2009
CLARENCE MIDDLETON, PETITIONER,
MIKE KNOWLES, RESPONDENT.
Petitioner is a state prisoner whose name is on a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. He has paid the filing fee.
The body of the form has been filled out by one of petitioner's siblings, for each statement of grounds begins with "my brother Clarence Middleton...." There is a signature on the form, purporting to be that of Clarence Middleton, but the court cannot determine whether the petitioner himself signed the form. At the end of the form is a request for the appointment of counsel, because "I nor our sister have the funds to hire an attorney...."
Because of the uncertainties surrounding this petition, the court has determined that the interests of justice require appointment of counsel. See 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(2)(B); see also Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983).
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. The Federal Defender is appointed to represent petitioner.
2. The Clerk of the Court is directed to serve a copy of the petition and this order on Carolyn Wiggin, Assistant Federal Defender, and on Michael Farrell, Senior Deputy Attorney General.
3. A status conference is set for February 25, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom Twenty-Six. The court asks counsel to be ready to address the following questions:
a. Is the petition in fact signed by Clarence Middleton;
b. Does Clarence Middleton wish to pursue habeas relief in this court;
c. Have the issues in this petition been exhausted; and
d. Are there any amendments to this petition contemplated?
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