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United States v. Dharni

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


February 12, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SUNDEEP DHARNI, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Edward J. Garcia, Judge United States District Court

ORDER DENYING REQUEST FOR TRANSCRIPT

Defendant, a federal prisoner proceeding pro se, has filed a request seeking transcription, at government expense, of the voir dire proceedings in his criminal case. For the reasons that follow, the motion is DENIED.

Defendant was convicted by a jury on July 10, 2007, of several arson and mail fraud counts and was sentenced November 7, 2007 to a term of 180 months imprisonment and three years supervised release. His conviction and sentence were affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in an unpublished memorandum disposition filed March 30, 2009. The appellate mandate issued June 5, 2009.

In the instant request defendant says he is preparing a § 2255 petition, has all transcripts except for voir dire, that some unidentified Supreme Court decision makes it "imperative" that he have that transcript, but that he is indigent and cannot afford to pay the costs of transcription.

Transcripts in 2255 proceedings are provided to persons granted in forma pauperis status at government expense only when defendant demonstrates that the suit is not frivolous and the transcript is necessary to decide the issues presented. See United States v. MacCollum, 426 U.S. 317, 325 (1976), citing 28 U.S.C. § 753(f). Since defendant has not filed his 2255 petition, the court is not in a position to determine whether it contains non-frivolous issues which require a transcript for judicial review. An argument that the transcript must precede the petition is not availing. By virtue of his presence at trial, defendant should be able to sufficiently recall the circumstances of a non-frivolous issue necessary to frame an appropriate petition. Accordingly, the request for preparation of transcription of the voir dire proceedings at government expense is DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20100212

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