United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill, Chief Judge.
Michael Thomas Hayes, a prisoner in custody of the Idaho
Department of Correction (IDOC), filed a Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus challenging his state court conviction for a
third DUI conviction that was elevated to a felony because of
two prior DUI convictions. (Dkt. 3.) In particular, he
contests the fact that, at the time he was convicted of his
first two DUIs, state law provided that three DUIs within
five years amounted to a felony for the third DUI,
but after that date, the law changed to be three DUIs within
ten years, and, therefore, Petitioner's third
DUI made him eligible for felony DUI and a longer sentence.
(See Dkt. 13-1.)
response to the Petition, Respondent Warden Chad Page filed a
Motion for Partial Summary Dismissal that is now ripe for
adjudication. (Dkts. 10, 13, 18.) Petitioner filed a Response
to the Motion and several of his own motions. (Dkts. 14, 15,
reviewed the record, the Court concludes that oral argument
is unnecessary. Accordingly, the Court enters the following
Order addressing the pending motions.
Motion for Appointment of Counsel (Dkt. 14)
is no constitutional right to counsel in a habeas corpus
action. Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 755
(1991). A habeas petitioner has a right to counsel, as
provided by rule, if counsel is necessary for effective
discovery or if an evidentiary hearing is required in his
case. See Rules 6(a) & 8(c) of the Rules
Governing Section 2254 Cases. In addition, the Court may
exercise its discretion to appoint counsel for an indigent
petitioner in any case where required by the interests of
justice. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(h); 18 U.S.C. §
3006A(a)(2)(B). Whether counsel should be appointed turns on
a petitioner's ability to articulate his claims in light
of the complexity of the legal issues and his likelihood of
success on the merits. See Weygandt v. Look, 718
F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983).
asserts that it would be equitable to appoint counsel for him
because he has litigated two-thirds of his case pro se, that
he has only recently obtained his GED, and that he has no
legal expertise and few legal resources at the prison to
pursue his case. He asserts:
I am innocent of the felony DUI that I am incarcerated for.
If it was not for the breach of contracts, or plea
agreements, I would have only been convicted of and
incarcerated for a misdemeanor DUI and I would no longer be
confined in the state prison where I remain confined.
(Dkt. 14, p. 4.)
Court will deny the request for appointment of counsel for
the following reasons. The issues before the Court are not
legally complex, and Petitioner asserts that he has obtained
a paralegal's help in researching the issues presented to
the Court. The standard for granting a habeas corpus petition
is extraordinarily high, and a preliminary review of the
claims does not convince the Court that appointing counsel
would make any difference in aiding Petitioner's
arguments or the Court's decisionmaking in this action.
The Court will reconsider its decision after it has reviewed
the briefing on the merits of the claims that proceed to the
next phase of litigation, without the need for Petitioner to
file a separate motion.
Motion to Strike State's Lodging of Record (Dkt.
15), Request for Production of Clerk Record (Dkt. 16), and
Motion to Lodge Request for Production of Clerk Record (Dkt.
asks that a portion of the state court record be stricken
because he does not have access to copies of it. Respondent
states that he has complied with the Court's Order and
the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases by lodging all relevant
portions of the state court record. Petitioner followed up
his request by alternatively requesting that he be provided
with a copy of the Clerk's record. Respondent has given
notice to the Court that he provided a copy of the state
court record to Petitioner on April 10, 2017. (Dkt. 21.)
Thus, Petitioner's Motion to Strike will be denied, and
his Motion to Produce will be deemed moot. Petitioner's
Motion to Lodge Request (Dkt. 21) will be denied as
unnecessary (the only items lodged in a habeas corpus action
are historical records from a past closed state court case;
motions and requests are filed, rather than lodged, because
they are requests that the Court take action in this
FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY DISMISSAL
Standard of Law governing Summary Dismissal
petitioner's compliance with threshold procedural
requirements is at issue, a respondent may file a motion for
summary dismissal, rather than an answer. White v.
Lewis, 874 F.2d 599, 602 (9th Cir. 1989). Rule 4 of the
Rules Governing § 2254 Cases authorizes the Court to
summarily dismiss a petition for writ of habeas corpus when
“it plainly appears from the face of the petition and
any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to
relief in the district court.” The Court takes judicial
notice of the records from Petitioner's state court
proceedings, lodged by the parties.
pleaded guilty to and was convicted of felony DUI-a charge
which consists of three or more DUI convictions within ten
years, under I.C. § 18-8004-in a criminal action in the
Fourth Judicial District Court in Ada County, Idaho. The
judgment of conviction was entered on October 26, 2011.
Petitioner received a sentence of 2 years fixed with 8 years
did not file a direct appeal, but filed a post-conviction
action. Petitioner was appointed counsel, and the state
district court held an evidentiary hearing on the
post-conviction petition. (State's Lodging B-2.)
Thereafter, the court dismissed the post-conviction petition
without affording Petitioner any relief. (State's Lodging
B-1, pp. 114-122.)
was appointed counsel on appeal, who withdrew from the case
after three attorneys in counsel's office found no
meritorious issues for appeal. (State's Lodgings C-1 to
C-3.) Petitioner filed his own appellate briefing, and he had
no success before the ...