United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE; GRANTING MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS; DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF
COUNSEL (DOCKET NOS. 3, 5)
J. DAVILA, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a petition
for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2254, challenging his state conviction. Petitioner has
filed a motion for appointment of counsel, (Docket No. 3),
and a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis,
(Docket No. 5).
was convicted by a jury in Contra Costa County Superior Court
of voluntary manslaughter. (Pet. at 1-2.) Petitioner was
sentenced to 25 years to life on August 25, 2017.
(Id. at 1.)
appealed the matter to the state appellate and state high
court, but without success. (Id. at 3.)
filed this federal habeas action on August 30, 2019.
Standard of Review
court may entertain a petition for a 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).
shall “award the writ or issue an order directing the
respondent to show cause why the writ should not be granted,
unless it appears from the application that the applicant or
person detained is not entitled thereto.” Id.
claims the following as grounds for federal habeas relief:
(1) violation of due process and right to present a defense
by the trial court's refusal to allow a defense witness
to testify; (2) jury instructional error; and (3) ineffective
assistance of counsel. (Pet. at 5.) Liberally construed,
these claims are cognizable under § 2254 and merit an
answer from Respondent.
Motion for Appointment of Counsel
has filed a motion for appointment of counsel. (Docket No.
3.) The Sixth Amendment's right to counsel does not apply
in habeas corpus actions. See Knaubert v. Goldsmith,
791 F.2d 722, 728 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 479 U.S.
867 (1986). Unless an evidentiary hearing is required, the
decision to appoint counsel is within the discretion of the
district court. Id.; Bashor v. Risley, 730
F.2d 1228, 1234 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 469 U.S.
838 (1984). The petition filed in pro se is
well-presented and clearly states his claims. (See
Docket No. 1.) Furthermore, it does not appear that an
evidentiary hearing is necessary at this stage of the
proceedings, and there are no exceptional circumstances to
warrant appointment of counsel at this time. Accordingly,
Petitioner's motion for appointment ...