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Bowles v. Baca

United States District Court, D. Nevada

July 9, 2018

TRAVIS BOWLES, Petitioner,
v.
ISIDRO BACA, et al., Respondents.

          ORDER

          MIRANDA M. DU UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This pro se habeas petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 comes before the Court for consideration of petitioner's application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 1), motion for appointment of counsel (ECF No. 1-5), motion for leave to add additional grounds (ECF No. 1-3), and motion to extend his copywork limit (ECF No. 1-4), and for initial review pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts.

         Following review of petitioner's pauper application, the Court finds that petitioner cannot pay the filing fee. The application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis will therefore be granted, and petitioner will not be required to pay the $5 filing fee.

         Turning to petitioner's motion for appointment of counsel, there is no constitutional right to appointed counsel for a federal habeas corpus proceeding. Pennsylvania v. Finley, 481 U.S. 551, 555 (1987); Bonin v. Vasquez, 999 F.2d 425, 428 (9th Cir. 1993). The decision to appoint counsel is generally discretionary. Chaney v. Lewis, 801 F.2d 1191, 1196 (9th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 481 U.S. 1023 (1987); Bashor v. Risley, 730 F.2d 1228, 1234 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 838 (1984). However, counsel must be appointed if the complexities of the case are such that denial of counsel would amount to a denial of due process, and where the petitioner is a person of such limited education as to be incapable of fairly presenting his claims. See Chaney, 801 F.2d at 1196; see also Hawkins v. Bennett, 423 F.2d 948 (8th Cir.1970).

         The petition in this case is sufficiently clear in presenting the issues that petitioner wishes to raise, and the issues are not complex. Therefore, the Court concludes that counsel is not justified in this case, and the motion for appointment of counsel will be denied.

         Following review of the petition, the Court will direct service and a response.

         Addressing petitioner's motion for leave to add additional grounds, it is unclear what relief petitioner seeks. The motion asks for leave to include grounds up to and including ground 9 in the petition “to avoid procedural barrment.” (ECF No. 1-3 at 1-2.) The petition contains nine grounds. Accordingly, the motion for leave to add additional grounds will be denied as moot. To the extent petitioner is seeking a ruling from the Court that his grounds will not be dismissed as procedurally defaulted, the motion is denied. Whether any of petitioner's claims are unexhausted and/or procedurally defaulted is an issue that may be raised by respondents in a motion to dismiss. The Court will address any such contentions at that time.

         Finally, petitioner has filed a motion to extend his copywork limit. Petitioner asserts that he has reached his $100 copywork limit and therefore needs a court order extending it. Petitioner's request is based on speculation as to what type of pleadings he may need to file in this action. At this time there is nothing for petitioner to file as the Court is directing a response from respondents and, under the habeas rules, the relevant state court record will be furnished by respondents. Accordingly, the Court will deny petitioner's speculative and overbroad motion without prejudice, to renew when there is a specific basis for doing so.

         It is therefore ordered that petitioner's application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 1) is granted. Petitioner will not be required to pay the filing fee.

         It is further ordered that petitioner's motion for appointment of counsel (ECF No. 1-5) is denied.

         It is further ordered that petitioner's motion for leave to add additional grounds (ECF No. 1-3) is denied as moot.

         It is further ordered that petitioner's motion to extend prison copywork limit (ECF No. 1-4) is denied without prejudice.

         It is further ordered that the Clerk of the Court file the petition (ECF No. 1-1).

         It is further ordered that the Clerk file the motions for appointment of counsel (ECF No. 1-5), motion for leave to add additional grounds (ECF No. 1-3), and motion to extend copywork limit (ECF No. 1-4) and ...


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