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Michael Robert Coffin v. Matthew Cate

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


April 3, 2013

MICHAEL ROBERT COFFIN,
PETITIONER,
v.
MATTHEW CATE, SECRETARY OF THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION,
RESPONDENT.

PETITIONER'S REQUEST TO EXPAND COUNSEL'S APPOINTMENT; [PROPOSED] ORDER

On November 28, 2011, this Court appointed counsel for Petitioner Michael Coffin "for the limited purpose of conducting discovery and opposing any motion to dismiss the petition." Dckt. No. 31. Mr. Coffin, though counsel, asks that this appointment of counsel be expanded to allow counsel to continue representing Mr. Coffin generally in this matter. Mr. Coffin's Declaration asking that counsel be allowed to continue representing him is attached as Exhibit A.

Mr. Coffin remains indigent and is confined in an out-of-state facility where he has great difficulty conducting legal research. In addition, the issues in this case are complex. As the case proceeds, this Court will likely have to determine whether a Cunningham*fn1 error occurred at sentencing and if so whether that error was harmless, i.e. whether there is a doubt that a jury would have found an aggravating factor proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Proper briefing of these issues requires not only a comprehensive discussion of the record at the sentencing hearing but legal research into a relatively new area of law. Moreover, it is critical that Mr. Coffin's petition continue to move through district court as quickly as possible as he will soon be serving the portion of the sentence that he is challenging. Finally, because the undersigned counsel has now represented Mr. Coffin for over a year, she has already become familiar with the case. For all of these reasons, the interests of justice would be served by appointment of counsel to represent Mr. Coffin as the litigation continues. 18 U.S.C. Section 3006A(a)(2)(B).

Dated: January 29, 2013 Respectfully submitted, JOSEPH SCHLESINGER Acting Federal Defender /s/ Carolyn M. Wiggin CAROLYN M. WIGGIN Assistant Federal Defender Attorney for Petitioner MICHAEL R. COFFIN

Pursuant to this Request to Expand Counsel's Appointment and for the reasons stated therein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Federal Defender is appointed to represent petitioner.


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