United States District Court, N.D. California
ROBERT A. MARTINELLI, Petitioner,
ROBERT NEUSCHMID, Respondent.
ORDER FOR RESPONDENT TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DKT. NOS. 2,
DONATO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Martinelli, a state prisoner, filed a pro se petition for a
writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. He
also applied for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
Petitioner was convicted in Contra Costa County, which is in
this district, so venue is proper here. See 28
U.S.C. § 2241(d).
was found guilty after a jury trial of residential burglary
and attempted carjacking. People v. Martinelli, No.
A151339, 2018 WL 330130, at *1 (Cal.Ct.App. Jan. 9, 2018).
The jury also found that petitioner suffered two prior strike
convictions. Id. Petitioner was sentenced to a
prison term of 25 years to life. Id. The California
Court of Appeal affirmed the conviction and denied the claims
raised in this federal petition. Id. The California
Supreme Court denied review of these claims. Petition at 3,
Court may entertain a petition for writ of habeas corpus
“in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the
judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in
custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties
of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a);
Rose v. Hodges, 423 U.S. 19, 21 (1975). Habeas
corpus petitions must meet heightened pleading requirements.
McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994). An
application for a federal writ of habeas corpus filed by a
prisoner who is in state custody pursuant to a judgment of a
state court must “specify all the grounds for relief
available to the petitioner ... [and] state the facts
supporting each ground.” Rule 2(c) of the Rules
Governing § 2254 Cases, 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
“‘[N]otice' pleading is not sufficient, for
the petition is expected to state facts that point to a
‘real possibility of constitutional error.'”
Rule 4 Advisory Committee Notes (quoting Aubut v.
Maine, 431 F.2d 688, 689 (1st Cir. 1970)).
grounds for federal habeas relief, petitioner asserts that:
(1) the trial court erred when it denied petitioner's
motion for substitute counsel; (2) the trial court erred in
denying petitioner's motion to represent himself; and (3)
the trial court violated petitioner's right to a fair
trial when it ordered his physical restraint in the
courtroom. Liberally construed, these claims are sufficient
to require a response.
has also requested the appointment of counsel. The Sixth
Amendment right to counsel does not apply in habeas corpus
actions. Knaubert v. Goldsmith, 791 F.2d 722, 728
(9th Cir. 1986). But 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(2)(B)
authorizes a district court to appoint counsel to represent a
habeas petitioner whenever “the court determines that
the interests of justice so require.” Petitioner has
presented his claims adequately and the issues are not
complex. The Court finds that the interests of justice do
warrant the appointment of counsel at this time.
motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Docket No. 2) is
GRANTED. The motion to appoint counsel
(Docket No. 4) is DENIED without prejudice.
clerk shall serve by regular mail a copy of this order and
the petition and all attachments thereto on respondent and
respondent's attorney, the Attorney General of the State
of California. The clerk also shall serve a copy of this
order on petitioner.
Respondent shall file with the Court and serve on petitioner,
within fifty-six (56) days of the issuance of this order, an
answer conforming in all respects to Rule 5 of the Rules
Governing Section 2254 Cases, showing cause why a writ of
habeas corpus should not be granted. Respondent shall file
with the answer and serve on petitioner a copy of all
portions of the state trial record that have ...