IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
May 14, 2012
ISAC ESTRADA, PETITIONER,
MICHAEL STRAINER, WARDEN, RESPONDENT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge
Shortly before filing his traverse in this habeas corpus action, petitioner requested appointment of counsel. (Dkt. No. 15.) 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). Nevertheless, 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.
The instant habeas action is now fully briefed. It appears that the petition is well documented, and the traverse well reasoned. Petitioner's assertion that he is prejudiced by his lack of legal expertise will be considered by the court upon substantive review of the pleadings. Petitioner also asserts that the assistance of counsel will be needed if the court determines that further discovery and/or an evidentiary hearing is warranted in this action. However, this determination must also be made upon substantive review of the petition.
Therefore, at the present time, the court finds that the interests of justice do not require appointment of counsel; however, the court will further consider, sua sponte and sub silentio, the merits of petitioner's request upon the court's substantive review of the petition; the court will also duly consider a later-filed request based upon changed circumstances.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that petitioner's February 6, 2012 request for appointment of counsel (Docket No. 15), is denied without prejudice to a renewal of the motion at a later stage of the proceedings.
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