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Voss v. Baca

United States District Court, D. Nevada

May 15, 2019

STEVEN FLOYD VOSS, Petitioner,
v.
ISIDRO BACA, et al., Respondents.

          ORDER

          MIRANDA M. DU, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This habeas matter filed by Steven Floyd Voss (“Petitioner” or “Voss”) comes before the Court for initial review on Voss' motions that he submitted with the petition for appointment of counsel and for leave to file a longer than normal petition (currently at ECF Nos. 1-7, 1-8), and on his motion for reconsideration (ECF No. 5) filed thereafter. The filing fee has been paid.

         I. MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

         In the only order entered herein to date, the Court denied Voss' pauper application and directed that he pay the $5.00 filing fee. The order did nothing else. (ECF No. 3.)

         Voss shortly thereafter paid the filing fee, consistent with the Court's prior finding that he had the ability to do so. (ECF No. 4.)

         In the motion for reconsideration, Voss urges that the Court did not rule upon his counsel motion and “apparently overlooked the fact that granting of informa [sic] pauper's [sic] status would be essential to a determination by this Court to appoint counsel to assist the now blind [see discussion infra] Petitioner . . ..” (ECF No. 5 at 2.)

         Voss misunderstands the applicable procedure. The denial of the pauper application-based on the pertinent finding that Petitioner was able to pay the $5.00 filing fee-does not preclude a later finding by the Court as to whether Voss is financially eligible for the appointment of counsel pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3006A. A finding that he can pay $5.00 is not a finding that he can afford to retain an attorney.

         The motion for reconsideration (ECF No. 5) therefore will be denied. Voss has not established a valid basis for reconsidering the prior order denying the pauper application.

         II. MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE A LONGER THAN NORMAL PETITION

         Under Local Rule LSR 3-2(b), “there is no page limit with respect to habeas corpus petitions . . ..” Voss' motion for leave to file a longer than normal petition (currently at ECF No. 1-8) therefore will be denied as unnecessary.

         III. COUNSEL MOTION

         Following review of the financial materials submitted previously with Voss' pauper application, the Court finds that Voss is financially unable to retain adequate representation for purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a).

         The Court further finds, on the current record, that appointment of counsel is in the interests of justice given: (a) Voss' sentencing to, inter alia, life without the possibility of parole; and (b) the potential complexity of issues pertaining to, inter alia, exhaustion, successive petitions, and the federal limitation period following upon a corrected or amended judgment of conviction filed in state district court on or about May 24, 2018.

         The Court does not base appointment of counsel-on the current record-on Voss' assertions in his motion for appointment of counsel that such appointment “is necessary due to his present disability of visual impairment, ” that he has “severe progressive cataracts effecting [sic] both of his eyes, ” that the cataracts “have rendered him functionally blind, ” and that he thus ...


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