United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
M. HOOD SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
August 20, 2019, the Defendant, Travis Wayne Hall
(“Hall”), proceeding pro se, filed a
Motion to Appoint Counsel [DE 364] stating, “I am
asking the court to appoint me an attorney on the basis that
I feel like I have issues in my case that can get me some
time off or time served.” Hall insists his lack of
legal knowledge prevents him from being able “to argue
[motions] in front of or against a knowledgeable
Judge.” Id. First, the Court respectfully
advises Hall that in submitting a motion to the Court, he is
not arguing against the judge, in this case, the undersigned.
Instead, a motion is a request for relief from the Court, and
the Court must decide whether the motion should be granted or
denied. While the United States is represented by counsel and
generally given the opportunity to oppose any motion filed by
Hall, the mere fact that he is neither an attorney nor
familiar with law and procedure does not alone warrant
appointing him counsel. If that were the case, there would be
few, if any, pro se parties.
language of Joint Local Rule of Criminal Procedure 12.1(a)
Except for routine motions - such as motions for an extension
of time - a motion must state with particularity the grounds
for the motion, the relief sought, and the legal argument
necessary to support it.
aside from Hall's lack of legal knowledge, he neither
specifically states why he needs appointed counsel nor
provides any legal argument in support of his request for the
appointment of counsel. [DE 364]. Instead, Hall lists the
following issues he has with his case:
1) Actual Innocence of 924(J) [sic] aiding and abetting. How
can I aid and abet someone that I do not know, never met, or
seen in the act of trying to kill me.
2) I have a 924(c) and 924(J] [sic] which are connected to
the same offense but are run consecutive of one another. To
my limited knowledge, this is not supposed to be done in this
this Court acknowledges its obligation to liberally construe
Hall's pro se Motion [DE 364], it has no
authority to create arguments for him. Coleman v.
Shoney's, Inc., 79 Fed.Appx. 155, 157 (6th Cir.
2003) (“Pro se parties must still brief the issues
advanced with some effort at developed
argumentation.”). Hall has failed to meet the
requirements of LCrR 12.1(a). Without some effort at legal
argumentation, Hall has failed to meet the requirements of
LCrR 12.1(a), and the Court is unable to grant the requested
18 U.S.C. § 3006A outlines certain situations where
counsel shall be appointed for indigent defendants.
See 18 U.S.C. § 3006A. None of those defined
situations are apparently present in this case. To the extent
Hall is attempting to file a Motion to Vacate pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2255, the Court has the discretion to appoint
counsel for any petitioner seeking habeas relief when the
petitioner is proceeding as a pauper and the interests of
justice so require. See 28 U.S.C. § 2255(g);
see also 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(2)(B). However, a
petitioner does not have a constitutional right to habeas
counsel. Post v. Bradshaw, 422 F.3d 419, 423 (6th
Cir. 2005). In exercising its discretion, the Court should
consider the legal and factual complexity of the case,
petitioner's ability to investigate and present his
claims, and any other factors relevant to the given case.
Hoggard v. Purkett, 29 F.3d 469, 471 (8th Cir.
1994). Also, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(2)(B),
“[w]henever the United States magistrate judge or the
court determines that the interests of justice so require,
representation may be provided for any financially eligible
person who . . . is seeking relief under section 2241, 2254,
or 2255 of title 28.” “The interests of justice
require the court to appoint counsel when the district court
conducts an evidentiary hearing on the petition.”
Hoggard, 29 F.3d at 471 (citing Abdullah v.
Norris, 18 F.3d 571, 573 (8th Cir. 1994)); see
also Rule 8(c) of the Rules Governing Section §
2255 (“If an evidentiary hearing is warranted, the
judge must appoint an attorney to represent a petitioner who
qualifies to have counsel appointed under 18 U.S.C. §
the Court can consider whether appointment of counsel is
required due to the need for an evidentiary hearing or the
interests of justice, Hall must first file a timely 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 motion within the one-year statute of
limitations, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f).
See 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(2)(B). Hall's
Motion to Appoint Counsel [DE 364] is premature because
“[t]he Court cannot appoint counsel at government
expense to provide legal advice and represent [Hall] prior to
the filing of a § 2255 motion.” U.S. v.
Wooden, No. 1:03-cr-66, 2008 WL 5110790, at *2 (E.D.
Tenn. Nov. 26, 2008) (denying Defendant's motion to
appoint counsel where Defendant had yet to file a motion to
vacate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255). Hall has not filed
a § 2255 motion. Since Hall has not filed a motion under
28 U.S.C. § 2255, he cannot be appointed ...