United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
D. Mariani United States District Judge.
Bobby Izzo ("Petitioner"), filed a pro se
petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254. (Doc. 1). Petitioner challenges a conviction and
sentence imposed in the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas.
(Id.). Presently pending before the Court is
Petitioner's motion for appointment of counsel. (Doc.
12). For the reasons set forth below, the Court will deny the
prisoners have no constitutional or statutory right to
appointment of counsel in federal habeas corpus proceedings,
Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 772, 752 (1991), the
Court has broad discretionary power to appoint counsel to a
financially eligible habeas petitioner if "the interests
of justice so require..." See 18 U.S.C. §
3006A(a)(2); see also Montgomery v.
Pinchak, 294 F.3d 492, 499 (3d Cir. 2002); Tabron v.
Grace, 6 F.3d 147, 153 (3d Cir. 1993),
aff'd, 275 F.3d 33 (3d Cir. 2001). The United
States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has stated that
appointment of counsel for an indigent litigant should be
made when circumstances indicate "the likelihood of
substantial prejudice to him resulting, for example, from his
probable inability without such assistance to present the
facts and legal issues to the court in a complex but arguably
meritorious case." Smith-Bey v. Petsock, 741
F.2d 22, 26 (3d Cir. 1984).
initial determination to be made by the Court in evaluating
the expenditure of the "precious commodity" of
volunteer counsel is whether the petitioner's case has
some arguable merit in fact and law. Montgomery, 294
F.3d at 499. If a petitioner overcomes this threshold hurdle,
other factors to be examined are:
1.the claimant's ability to present his or her own case;
2.the difficulty of the particular legal issues;
3.the degree to which factual investigation will be necessary
and the ability of the claimant to pursue investigation;
4.the claimant's capacity to retain counsel on his or her
5.the extent to which the case is likely to turn on
credibility determinations; and
6.whether the case will require testimony from expert
Montgomery, 294 F.3d at 499 (citing Tabron,
6 F.3d at 155-57).
arguendo that the petition has merit, Petitioner
fails to set forth any special circumstances warranting
appointment of counsel. See Tabron, 6 F.3d at
155-56. Petitioner requests counsel due to the alleged
complexity of the case, and his limited education. (Doc. 12).
However, thus far, Petitioner has demonstrated the ability to
properly and forcefully prosecute his claims. Despite
Petitioner's incarceration, investigation of the facts is
not beyond his capabilities and he is familiar with the facts
of his case. See Reesev. Fulcomer, 946
F.2d 247, 263-64 (3d Cir. 1991) (identifying merit and
complexity of petitioner's claims, as well as the
petitioner's ability to investigate facts and ...