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United States v. Goguen

United States District Court, D. Maine

May 8, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
ROBERT GOGUEN

          ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

          JOHN A. WOODCOCK, JR. JUDGE

         The Court denies an inmate's motion to reconsider its denial of his motion for the Court to order reimbursement of certain costs the inmate incurred in pursuing various legal actions because the inmate failed to demonstrate that his case is one of the rare cases where such reimbursement is warranted.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Procedural Background

         On February 6, 2018, Robert Goguen moved this Court to appoint counsel to represent him in his pending motion, filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence (ECF No. 205). On February 8, 2018, the Magistrate Judge denied the motion. Order Denying Mot. to Appoint Counsel (ECF No. 206). On February 21, 2018, Mr. Goguen filed a motion objecting to the order and requesting reconsideration thereof. Obj. to Order Denying Appointment of Counsel (ECF No. 208). In these circumstances, a request for reconsideration is directed to the Magistrate Judge who issued the order and an objection is directed to the assigned District Judge, so Mr. Goguen's motion was forwarded first to the Magistrate Judge for reconsideration. On February 23, 2018, the Magistrate Judge denied the motion for reconsideration. Order (ECF No. 212). On February 26, 2018, the Court reviewed Mr. Goguen's objection under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and affirmed the Magistrate Judge's order, concluding that it was neither clearly erroneous nor contrary to law. Order (ECF No. 213).

         On February 21, 2018, Mr. Goguen moved the Court to pay certain expenses that he has incurred in proceeding with his various legal matters. Def.'s Mot. for Funds (ECF No. 209). The expenses include those associated with mailings, photocopying, and telephone calls. Id. On February 23, 2018, the Magistrate Judge denied his motion. Order (ECF No. 211). On March 20, 2018, Mr. Goguen objected to the Magistrate Judge's Order. Def.'s Objection to Order Denying Mot. for Funds (ECF No. 219). On April 4, 2018, the Court overruled Mr. Goguen's objection to the Magistrate Judge's Order. Order Overruling Obj. to the Magistrate Judge's Order (ECF No. 224). On April 10, 2018, Mr. Goguen moved for reconsideration. Reconsideration of District Judge's Order in Denying Mot. for Funds (ECF No. 225) (Def.'s Mot.).

         B. Motion for Reconsideration

         In his motion for reconsideration, Mr. Goguen attempts to address one of the Court's observations in its order overruling his objection to the Magistrate Judge's Order-a lack of legal authority for his position. Def.'s Mot. at 1-2. He cites section 3.2 of the treatise Federal Habeas Corpus Practice and Procedure, which speaks of procedures for indigent federal habeas petitioners “to hire and to secure compensation for court-funded investigators, expert witnesses, and other providers of support services.” Id. at 2 (citing Randy Hertz & James S. Liebman, Federal Habeas Corpus Practice and Procedure § 3.2 (7th ed. 2017)). Mr. Goguen suggests that “support services” encompasses services he has availed himself of in his own representation, including photocopies, telephone calls, and postage. Def.'s Mot. at 2-3. He states that he “believe[s] the Court has the authority to act upon [his] request for funds” to pay for such services. Id. at 3.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Legal Standard under 18 U.S.C. § 3006A

         Mr. Goguen suggests that his proposal-to have the Court cover costs arising out of his pro se representation-“is much cheaper” than appointment of counsel to represent him. Id. at 3. He is undoubtedly correct; nevertheless, the standard the Court must apply in evaluating his request is the same it applied in evaluating his prior request for a lawyer. The Guide to Judiciary Policy addresses this:

(a) Persons who are eligible for representation under the CJA, but who have elected to proceed pro se, may, upon request, be authorized to obtain investigative, expert, and other services in accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(e).
(b) The court should authorize subsection (e) services for pro se litigants and review and approve resulting claims in the same manner as is its practice with respect to requests made by CJA panel attorneys. However, in matters for which appointment of counsel is discretionary under 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(2), the court should make a threshold determination that the case is one in which the interests of justice would have required the furnishing of representation.

7A Guide to Judiciary Policy ยง 310.10.30 (a)-(b) (May 17, 2017). Mr. Goguen continues to proceed pro se after having sought and been denied counsel for failure to ...


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