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United States v. King

United States District Court, Second Circuit

July 24, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
MELISSA G. KING, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

JOHN G. KOELTL, District Judge.

The Court has received the attached correspondence from Laura King-Kaplan with a purported unsigned memo from Melissa King (on Laura King-Kaplan letterhead) seeking the appointment of counsel for Melissa King and an extension of time to file a section 2255 motion.

Any requests should come from Melissa King and not from Laura King-Kaplan, and any such requests should be copied to the Government.

There is no showing that counsel should be appointed for Melissa King and the Court denies that request at this time. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has articulated factors that should guide the Court's discretion to appoint counsel to represent an indigent civil litigant under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. See Hodge v. Police Officers , 802 F.2d 58, 61-62 (2d Cir. 1986). For the Court to order the appointment of counsel, the petitioner must, as a threshold matter, demonstrate that her claim has substance or a likelihood of success on the merits. See Hodge , 802 F.2d at 60-61. Only then can the Court consider the other factors appropriate to determination of whether counsel should be appointed: "[petitioner's] ability to obtain representation independently, and [her] ability to handle the case without assistance in the light of the required factual investigation, the complexity of the legal issues, and the need for expertly conducted cross-examination to test veracity." Cooper v. A. Sargenti Co., Inc. , 877 F.2d 170, 172 (2d Cir. 1989).

In this case, the defendant has been represented by numerous lawyers and there is no showing at this point that the defendant has any meritorious claim. The request for the appointment of counsel is therefore denied without prejudice to being raised after further development in the papers.

To the extent that the Court has jurisdiction to extend the current time to file a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2255, the time is extended until September 20, 2013.

SO ORDERED.


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