March – June 2008
Note: number in between brackets after the mentioning of a
document represents the document number in the District Court’s Docket Report.
An order  by Magistrate Judge Walter E. Johnson was issued on March
10, 2008, where Petitioner’s Motion for Appointment of Counsel was denied
because “ at this time, there appears to be no basis for an evidentiary hearing
“. The Magistrate Judge cited a case that said “Prisoners do not have a
constitutional right to counsel where mounting collateral attacks to their
conviction or sentences “. Magistrate Johnson also stated that Federal Courts
can, however, appoint counsel in post-conviction proceedings if the court
determines that the issues presented call for an evidentiary hearing.
Nonetheless, he apparently does not believe there are grounds for an
Magistrate Johnson accepted Petitioner’s request to terminate Mr. Rodney
Zell as counsel and granted Petitioner’s request to continue the proceedings as
a prose litigant. He also granted Petitioner’s prose Motion for Extension of
time to file Amended Petition and Brief . Additional pleadings must be
filed by June 20, 2008.
A Motion for a 30 day Extension of Time  was filed by Petitioner in
abundance of caution on June 16, 2008. Because of lack of funds used up on
previous attorneys, Petitioner found it difficult to hire another attorney
since Magistrate Johnson would not grant the request for appointment of
counsel. Petitioner, acting prose, has had to prepare his Amended Petition and
all pleadings on his own.