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VILLAFANE v. LORD

United States District Court, Southern District of New York


May 16, 2003

JUANITA VILLAFANE, PETITIONER, AGAINST ELAINE LORD, RESPONDENT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Henry Pitman, United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

In a memorandum opinion and order dated April 11, 2003, I denied the petitioner's motion for the appointment of counsel. By a undated letter, post-marked April 24, 2003 and received in my chambers on April 28, 2003, petitioner seeks reconsideration of my April 11, 2003 opinion and order. Petitioner's application for reconsideration is granted, and, upon reconsideration, I adhere to my prior decision.

Because the merits of the case are relevant to an application for appointment of counsel in habeas corpus proceeding, I have reviewed the petition in this matter. As explained in my April 11 opinion and order, petitioner is confronted with substantial procedural bar issue. In addition, at least preliminarily, petitioner's claim concerning the allegedly incomplete presentence report does not appear to assert a violation of the United States Constitution, Roberts v. Superintendent. Groveland Correctional Facility, 26 F. Supp.2d 684, 686 (S.D.N.Y. 1998) (a "presentence report is a matter of state law that does not implicate federal constitutional rights"), and her claim concerning the length of her sentence appears to lack merit. Ewing v. California, 113 S.Ct. 1179 (2003). I appreciate that plaintiff lacks funds to retain counsel and that, as a lay person, she is unskilled in the law. Nevertheless, in the absence of a substantial claim, those facts are insufficient to warrant the appointment of counsel.

Accordingly, I adhere to my April 11, 2003 opinion and order in all respects.

SO ORDERED

20030516

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