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James Tignor v. M.D. Mcdonald

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


March 25, 2011

JAMES TIGNOR, PETITIONER,
v.
M.D. MCDONALD, WARDEN, RESPONDENT.

ORDER

Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with an application for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Several motions are pending before the court.

Petitioner has filed three motions for appointment of 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). However, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A authorizes the appointment of counsel at any stage of the case "if the interests of justice so require." See Rule 8(c), Fed. R. Governing § 2254 Cases. In the present case, the court does not find that the interests of justice would be served by the appointment of counsel at the present time. Accordingly, petitioner's motions will be denied without prejudice.

Two of petitioner's motions for appointment of counsel also request appointment of an investigator. The expenditure of public funds on behalf of an indigent litigant is proper only when authorized by Congress. Tedder v. Odel, 890 F.2d 210 (9th Cir. 1989). The in forma pauperis statute does not authorize the expenditure of public funds for investigators. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Accordingly, petitioner's motions for appointment of an investigator will be denied.

Petitioner has also filed several motions for discovery and/or issuance of subpoenas, and a motion for an evidentiary hearing. Respondent has been ordered to answer the petition. See Order filed February 10, 2011. Good cause appearing, petitioner's motions will be denied without prejudice to their renewal, as appropriate, after respondent has filed an answer to the petition. Should petitioner elect to renew one or more of these motions, he is advised that he must serve a copy of any such motion on counsel for respondent.

Finally, petitioner has moved to withdraw his previously filed consent to proceed before a United States Magistrate Judge. Petitioner contends that he was under the influence of psychotropic medication when he signed the consent form that was filed in this action on February 22, 2011. On March 3, 2011, respondent declined to proceed before a United States Magistrate Judge. This action has therefore been assigned to a United States District Judge. Petitioner's motion is moot and will be denied.

In accordance with the above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 1. Petitioner's February 22, 2011, February 25, 2011, and March 9, 2011 motions for appointment of counsel are denied without prejudice.

2. Petitioner's February 22, 2011 and February 25, 2011 motions for appointment of an investigator are denied.

3. Petitioner's February 22, 2011 and March 10, 2011 request for issuance of subpoenas is denied without prejudice.

4. Petitioner's February 22, 2011 request for evidentiary hearing is denied without prejudice.

5. Petitioner's March 7, 2011 motion for discovery is denied without prejudice.

20110325

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