United States District Court, D. Utah
SEAN C. OWEN, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA et al., Respondents.
MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER REQUIRING AMENDED
BENSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
reviewed the habeas-corpus petition here, 28 U.S.C.S. §
2254 (2018), the Court concludes that it should be amended to
cure the below deficiencies if Petitioner wishes to further
pursue his claims.
(a) lists a respondent other than his custodian.
(b) is not on a Court-approved form.
(c) needs to specify a clear timeline regarding exhaustion of
claim(s) in the appeals and post-conviction processes in the
state courts and whether they have been concluded in the Utah
Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure an initial
pleading is required to contain "(1) a short and plain
statement of the grounds upon which the court's
jurisdiction depends, . . . (2) a short and plain statement
of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,
and (3) a demand for judgment for the relief the pleader
seeks." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). The requirements of Rule 8(a)
are intended to guarantee "that [respondents] enjoy fair
notice of what the claims against them are and the grounds
upon which they rest." TV Commc'ns Network, Inc.
v. ESPN, Inc., 767 F.Supp. 1062, 1069 (D. Colo. 1991),
aff'd, 964 F.2d 1022 (10th Cir. 1992).
litigants are not excused from complying with Rule 8's
minimal pleading requirements. "This is so because a pro
se [litigant] requires no special legal training to recount
the facts surrounding his alleged injury, and he must provide
such facts if the court is to determine whether he makes out
a claim on which relief can be granted." Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1009 (10th Cir. 1991). Moreover,
"it is not the proper function of the Court to assume
the role of advocate for a pro se litigant."
Id. at 1110. Thus, the Court may not "supply
additional facts, [or] construct a legal theory for
[petitioner] that assumes facts that have not been
pleaded." Dunn v. White, 880 F.2d 1188, 1197
(10th Cir. 1989).
should consider the following points before refiling his
petition. First, the revised petition must stand entirely on
its own and shall not refer to, or incorporate by reference,
any portion of the original petition or any other documents
previously filed by Petitioner. See Murray v.
Archambo, 132 F.3d 609, 612 (10th Cir. 1998) (amendment
supersedes original). Second, Petitioner must clearly state
whom his custodian is and name that person (a warden or
ultimate supervisor of an imprisonment facility) as the
respondent. See R. 2, Rs. Governing § 2254
Cases in the U.S. Dist. Courts. Third, Petitioner may
generally not bring civil-rights claims as to his conditions
of confinement in a habeas-corpus petition. Fourth, any
claims about Petitioner's underlying conviction and/or
sentencing should be brought under § 2254; any claims
about the execution of Petitioner's sentence should be
brought under § 2241. 28 U.S.C.S. §§ 2254,
2241 (2018). Fifth, Petitioner should seek help to prepare
initial pleadings from legal resources (e.g., contract
attorneys) available where he is held.
FOR APPOINTED COUNSEL
Court now evaluates Petitioner's motion for appointed
counsel. The Court initially notes that Petitioner has no
constitutional right to appointed pro bono counsel
in a federal habeas corpus case. See United States v.
Lewis, No. 97-3135-SAC, 91-10047-01-SAC, 1998 WL
1054227, at *3 (D. Kan. December 9, 1998). Moreover, because
no evidentiary hearing is required here, Petitioner has no
statutory right to counsel. See Rule 8(c), R.
Governing § 2254 Cases in U.S. Dist. Courts. However,
the Court may in its discretion appoint counsel when
"the interests of justice so require" for a
"financially eligible person" bringing a §
2254 petition. See 18 U.S.C.S. § 3006A(a)(2)(B)
Court has reviewed the filings in this case and determines
that justice does not require appointed counsel at this time.
First, it is yet unclear that Petitioner has asserted any
colorable claims. See Lewis, 1998 WL 1054227, at *3;
Oliver v. United States, 961 F.2d 1339, 1343 (7th
Cir. 1992). Second, Petitioner has shown "the ability to
investigate the facts necessary for [the] issues and to
articulate them in a meaningful fashion.”
Lewis, 1998 WL 1054227, at *3; Oliver, 961
F.2d at 1343. Finally, the issues in this case appear
"straightforward and not so complex as to require