United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. RUSSELL, III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on Petitioner Jorge Flores'
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. (ECF No. 1). Also pending
are Petitioner's Motions to Appoint Counsel and for
Discovery. (ECF Nos. 3, 8). For the reasons that follow, the
Petition shall be dismissed and Petitioner's motions
was convicted of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit
murder, and unlawful possession of a firearm in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
(Pet. at 2, ECF No. 1). He was sentenced to serve a term of
life in prison. (Id.). On February 23, 2016, he
states he was transferred from Allenwood Federal Correctional
Institution, a Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facility in
White Deer, Pennsylvania, to North Branch Correctional
Institution (NBCI) in Cumberland, Maryland. (Pet. Statement
of Claim at 1, ECF No. 1-1). He was later transferred to
Western Correctional Institution (WCI) also located in
Cumberland, Maryland. (Id.). Flores states that he
protested the transfer because he is “a federal
prisoner . . . under federal jurisdiction and not state
jurisdiction.” (Id.). When Flores requested a
transfer back to a BOP facility, his request was denied.
(Id.). He alleges that the denial of his request
means that he has been illegally kidnapped by a State agency.
(Id.). As relief, he requests a transfer back to a
federal facility. (Id.).
Supplement to the Petition, Flores claims that he is
“forced as a Federal prisoner to rely on Maryland State
authorities . . . to provide him with adequate health care
which they . . . refuse to do.” (Suppl. at 2, ECF No.
4). He states he is a Mexican national and is barely able to
speak, read, or write the English language, but WCI has no
translators or staff to aid him with this litigation.
(Id.). Flores relies on another inmate, John
Fishback, for assistance with writing and filing pleadings.
(Id.). Flores names defendants who are medical care
providers at WCI and claims they have failed to provide him
with treatment for a worsening hernia. (Id. at 3-5).
As relief, he seeks monetary damages. (Id. at 6).
their Answer, Respondents assert that the Petition should be
dismissed both because Flores has not exhausted his state
remedies with regard to his transfer of custody claim and
because the petition is without merit. Respondents rely in
part on a prior decision by this Court regarding an identical
claim raised by Flores which was summarily dismissed without
requiring an Answer. See Flores v. Moyer, Civil
Action GLR-18-10 (D.Md. 2018). Flores did not file an appeal
of that dismissal. With regard to Flores's supplemental
pleading raising claims regarding his medical care,
Respondents do not provide a response because it concerns an
entirely different matter and is in the nature of a civil
rights claim filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Motions for Discovery and for Appointment of
Motion for Discovery (ECF No. 8), Flores asserts in an
affidavit that he requires 120 days to conduct discovery so
that he can learn the identity of the three correctional
officers responsible for transporting him across state lines
and to depose those officers. He also seeks to obtain
regulations, policies, and procedural guidelines relevant to
his claims. The evidence cited as a goal for Flores's
discovery request is not relevant to the resolution of the
claim asserted and will therefore be denied.
pleading also reiterates the grounds for Flores's Motion
for Appointment of Counsel (ECF No. 3) which he claims is
necessary because he is unfamiliar with the English language
and the nature of this litigation is complex.
federal district court judge's power to appoint counsel
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1),  is a discretionary one, and
may be considered where an indigent claimant presents
exceptional circumstances. See Cook v. Bounds, 518
F.2d 779 (4th Cir. 1975); Branch v. Cole, 686 F.2d
264 (5th Cir. 1982). There is no absolute right to
appointment of counsel; an indigent claimant must present
“exceptional circumstances.” Miller v.
Simmons, 814 F.2d 962, 966 (4th Cir. 1987). Exceptional
circumstances exist where a “pro se litigant has a
colorable claim but lacks the capacity to present it.”
Whisenant v. Yuam, 739 F.2d 160, 163 (4th Cir.
1984), abrogated on other grounds by Mallard v. U.S.
Dist. Ct., 490 U.S. 296, 298 (1989) (holding that 28
U.S.C. § 1915 does not authorize compulsory appointment
included with the Motion for Discovery are two pages which
appear to be a personal letter, presumably from Fishback to
Flores, indicating that preparing pleadings for Flores is
difficult and vaguely referencing payment for the work he has
done for Flores. Notably the letter, addressed to Flores, is
written in English. The issues pending before the Court are
not unduly complicated. Therefore, there are no exceptional
circumstances that would warrant the appointment of an
attorney to represent Plaintiff under § 1915(e)(1).
Thus, the Motion for Appointment of Counsel will also be
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus