United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
S. GWIN JUDGE.
ORDER ON MOTION FOR DISCOVERY
M. Parker United States Magistrate Judge.
December 5, 2019, Petitioner Richard Stanton Whitman
(“Whitman”) moved for discovery and requested
counsel pursuant to Rule 6 of the Rules Governing §2254
cases. ECF Doc. 7. Whitman asserts that the state never
responded to discovery he requested during his state court
proceedings. He seeks an order requiring the production of
specific items he did not receive. ECF Doc. 7 at 3. He also
seeks information from his trial counsel and appellate
counsel regarding their reasoning for decisions made during
trial and his appeal. Similarly, he seeks discovery regarding
decisions and statements made by state court prosecutors. ECF
Doc. 7 at 8. Whitman requests counsel to assist with
discovery and, although not requested in the body of his
motion, his caption also requests an evidentiary hearing.
Whitman fails to explain how the requested discovery, which
was not a part of the state court record, would advance his
habeas claims, his motion for discovery must be DENIED,
without prejudice to refiling.
of the Rules Governing § 2254 cases provides, in part:
(a) Leave of court required. A judge may, for good cause,
authorize a party to conduct discovery under the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure and may limit the extent of
discovery. If necessary for effective discovery, the judge
must appoint an attorney for a petitioner who qualifies to
have counsel appointed under 18 U.S.C. § 3006A.
(b) Requesting discovery. A party requesting discovery must
provide reasons for the request. The request must also
include any proposed interrogatories and requests for
admission, and must specify any requested documents.
habeas petitioner, unlike the usual civil litigant in federal
court, is not entitled to discovery as a matter of ordinary
course.” Stojetz v. Ishee, 892 F.3d 175, 207,
(6th Cir. 2018) quoting Bracy v. Gramley, 520 U.S.
899, 904, 117 S.Ct. 1793, 138 L.Ed.2d 97 (1997). “A
district court may, however, permit discovery in a habeas
proceeding if the ‘petitioner presents specific
allegations showing reason to believe that the facts, if
fully developed, may lead the district court to believe that
federal habeas relief is appropriate.'”
Stojetz, 892 F.3d at 207, quoting Johnson v.
Mitchell, 585 F.3d 923, 934 (6th Cir. 2009) (quoting
Lott v. Coyle, 261 F.3d 594, 602 (6th Cir. 2001)).
Whitman claims that discovery is “vital to providing a
properly presented for Habeas Corpus.” Broadly, he
states that his discovery requests relate to the following
Petitioner has claims of ineffective assistance of counsel
and Brady violations by the prosecution concerning
exculpatory evidence being withheld by the State of Ohio and
this evidence not diligently being pursued by trial counsel.
This evidence goes toward proving that petitioners'
assailant had planned his attack and waited until
petitioners' niece had left the home before entering the
home and attacking the plaintiff. It also goes to prove that
trial counsel was ineffective for failing to pursue the
ECF Doc. 7 at 2. However, Whitman does not explain how the
requested discovery would actually support these claims.
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
(“AEDPA”) governs habeas corpus petitions filed
after April 24, 1996. Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S. 320,
326-27 (1997); Murphy v. Ohio, 551 F.3d 485, 493
(6th Cir. 2009). AEDPA imposes a “highly deferential
standard for evaluating state-court rulings, ”
Lindh, 521 U.S. at 333 n.7, and “demands that
state-court decisions be given the benefit of the
doubt.” Woodford v. Visciotti, 537 U.S. 19, 24
(2002). When the claims presented in a habeas corpus petition
have been presented to and decided on the merits by the state
courts, a federal court may not grant habeas relief unless
the petitioner proves that the state court decision:
(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved
an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal
law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States;
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable
determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented