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Wilson v. Howell

United States District Court, D. Nevada

April 30, 2019

Jeffery Wilson, Petitioner
v.
Jerry Howell, et al., Respondents

          ORDER DISMISSING GROUND 5 OF THE PETITION, DIRECTING SERVICE OF AND RESPONSE, AND DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL [ECF NO. 1-1 & 2]

          Jennifer A. Dorsey, U.S. District Judge

         Pro se prisoner Jeffery Wilson brings this petition for habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 to challenge his 2013 Nevada state-court conviction and sentence for murder and attempted murder.[1] He also asks the court to appoint counsel. Having conducted a preliminary review of Wilson's petition under Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts and considered Wilson's motion for appointment of counsel, I dismiss Ground 5 of the petition, direct service of the petition and a response to the remaining claims, and deny Wilson's motion for appointment of counsel.

         A. Motion for appointment of counsel

          There is no constitutional right to appointed counsel for a federal habeas corpus proceeding.[2] The court's decision to appoint counsel is generally discretionary, [3] and counsel must be appointed only if the case is so complex that denial of counsel would amount to a denial of due process, or the petitioner is a person of such limited education that he is incapable of fairly presenting his claims.[4]

         This standard is not met in this case. The petition and other filings in this case are sufficiently clear in setting forth the issues, and the issues do not appear to be particularly complex. The record as a whole demonstrates that, despite Wilson's allegation of limitations, he has been able to adequately present his claims and represent himself. Appointment of counsel is therefore not justified. So I deny the motion for appointment of counsel.

         B. Ground 5 is not cognizable on federal habeas review.

         Ground 5 of the petition alleges ineffective assistance and other errors in Wilson's state postconviction proceedings. Such claims are not cognizable on federal habeas review.[5] So I dismiss Ground 5 of the petition.

         IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Wilson's motion for appointment of counsel (ECF No. 2) is DENIED.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Ground 5 of the petition is DISMISSED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT the Clerk of Court is directed to:

• FILE the petition (ECF No. 1-1);
• Add Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford as attorney for respondents; and
• Informally electronically serve the Nevada Attorney General with a copy of the petition and this order.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondents must file a response to the petition (including any motion to dismiss) by June 28, 2019; petitioner will then have 30 days from the date of service of that response to file a reply. The response and reply time to any motion filed by either party, including a motion filed in lieu of a pleading, will be governed by Local Rule LR 7-2(b).

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that if respondents file a response, they must comply with these ...


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