Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with a third amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Despite several opportunities to amend his application for federal habeas relief, petitioner's third amended petition remains deficient. Petitioner's original petition presented five grounds for relief with additional sub-claims. On February 24, 2011, the court granted respondent's motion to dismiss two of petitioner's sub-claims as unexhausted. The court also determined that a stay and abeyance was not warranted with respect to the possible exhaustion of those two sub-claims and petitioner was directed to file an amended petition containing only his exhausted claims. (Docs. No. 25 & 28.) Petitioner's first amended petition was dismissed as defective because it appeared that petitioner was again presenting his unexhausted sub-claims and because it was difficult to decipher all of his grounds for relief. Petitioner was ordered to file a second amended petition.
(Doc. No. 31.) The second amended petition presented ten grounds for relief but failed to include factual information addressing whether those claims were exhausted. Moreover, it was unclear whether petitioner was abandoning exhausted claims which were included in his original petition. Accordingly, the court directed petitioner to file a third amended petition. (Doc. No. 36.) In his third amended petition, petitioner raises thirteen grounds for relief. Once again, his claims are difficult to decipher and the court is unable to determine if all of the claims set forth in the third amended petition are exhausted.
In light of the complexity of the legal issues involved, 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 third amended petition (Docs. No. 37) and this order on David Porter, Assistant Federal Defender.
3. A status conference is set for January 4, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 27.
4. All parties shall appear at the status conference by counsel.
5. Fourteen days prior to the conference, petitioner's counsel shall file and serve a status report which addresses the timing and order of the following matters:
a. Filing of fourth amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus or other proposed solution to determine the claims that are properly the subject of petitioner's application for federal habeas relief;
b. Anticipated motions; and
c. Enumeration and resolution of any unexhausted claims. Respondent may file a response to petitioner's status report seven days prior to the January 4, 2013 status conference.
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