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Njie v. Holder

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


July 17, 2009

MOMODOU D. NJIE, PETITIONER
v.
ERIC HOLDER, ET AL., RESPONDENTS

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Caputo

MEMORANDUM

I. Introduction

Momodou D. Njie, a detainee of the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), incarcerated at the Columbia County Prison, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Njie claims that his continued detention is unlawful under Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678, 121 S.Ct. 2491, 150 L.Ed.2d 653 (2001). Presently before the Court is Njie's Motion for the Appointment of Counsel. (Doc. 2.) For the following reasons, Njie's motion for appointment of counsel will be denied.

II. Discussion

There is no constitutional or statutory right to the appointment of counsel in federal habeas corpus proceedings. See Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 725 (1991); Pennsylvania v. Finley, 481 U.S. 551, 555 (1987). Appointment of counsel in a habeas proceeding is mandatory only if the district court determines that an evidentiary hearing is required. See Rule 8(c) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases; 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(2)(B). Otherwise, a court may appoint counsel to represent a habeas petitioner if it "determines that the interests of justice so require," and that the petitioner is financially unable to obtain adequate representation. See 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(2). Other factors a court must consider when making a decision regarding the appointment of counsel to represent a prisoner in a habeas action are whether a petitioner has made a colorable claim but lacks the means to adequately investigate, prepare, or present the claim. Reese v. Fulcomer, 946 F.2d 247, 264-265 (3d Cir. 1991).

In this case, appointment of counsel is not warranted. Njie's petition and supporting memorandum of law indicate an understanding of the issues. They are well organized, clearly presented, and contain appropriate arguments complete with legal citations. Petitioner's motion for appointment of counsel will therefore be denied. In the event, however, that future proceedings demonstrate the need for counsel, the matter may be reconsidered either sua sponte or upon another motion by Petitioner.

ORDER

AND NOW, this 17th day of July, 2009, for the reasons set forth in the accompanying memorandum, it is hereby ordered that Njie's Motion for Appointment of Counsel (Doc. 9) is DENIED.

A. RICHARD CAPUTO United States District Judge

20090717

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