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United States of America v. Kevin Taylor A/K/A "Qadir

August 4, 2011

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
KEVIN TAYLOR A/K/A "QADIR," DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kugler, United States District Judge:

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

(Doc. No. 166)

OPINION

This matter is before the Court on the motion of pro se Petitioner Kevin Taylor to request transcripts of court proceedings to assist him in filing a § 2255 habeas petition. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 753(f), the Court must first determine if Petitioner is eligible for in forma pauperis ("IFP") status. The Court may then review Petitioner's motion to certify that the underlying suit or appeal is not frivolous, and that the transcripts are needed to decide the issue presented by the suit or appeal. The Court finds that because of deficiencies in Petitioner's motion, the Court is unable to determine whether Plaintiff may proceed IFP, and that Petitioner has failed to allege the factual or legal basis for his claim to relief under § 2255. Therefore, Petitioner's request for transcripts to assist him in filing a § 2255 petition is DENIED.

I. BACKGROUND

In June 2007, Petitioner was charged with a seventeen-count indictment including conspiracy to commit robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a), six counts of armed bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a), 2113(d) and 18 U.S.C. § 2, five counts of use of a firearm during and in retaliation to a crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(ii), and one count of use of a firearm during a crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(iii). A jury convicted Petitioner on all counts in March 2008.

Petitioner and one of his co-defendants filed a joint appeal. On appeal, Petitioner argued:

(1) the court improperly admitted certain evidence; (2) the court denied their due process rights;

(3) the length of their sentences was excessive; and (4) asserting vindictive prosecution. In June 2010, the Third Circuit affirmed the district court's decision.

Petitioner alleges that despite his request, his appointed counsel refused to pursue an en banc hearing to reargue his appeal after the Third Circuit's June 2010 decision. Petitioner also claims that he unsuccessfully filed a pro se brief in support of an en banc hearing. (Pet'r's Br. in Supp. of Mot. to Produc. at 1). Now, Petitioner makes a motion to produce transcripts, "to aid, and assist the research procedure for 2255 [sic] habeas corpus review." (Id.). Petitioner states that he does not have "retained or appointed counsel," and that he "cannot afford to hire counsel or purchase the documents." (Id.).

II. DISCUSSION

Federal statutory law controls the provision of free transcripts to indigent defendants:

Fees for transcripts furnished in proceedings brought under section 2255 of this title to persons permitted to sue or appeal in forma pauperis shall be paid by the United States out of money appropriated for that purpose if the trial judge or a circuit judge certifies that the suit or appeal is not frivolous and that the transcript is needed to decide the issue presented by the suit or appeal.

28 U.S.C. § 753(f) (emphasis added). Pursuant to § 753(f), the Court must first determine whether Petitioner is eligible for IFP status. See id.; see also Walker v. People Express Airlines, Inc., 886 F.2d 598, 600 (3d Cir. 1989) (citations omitted). Then, the Court may review Petitioner's motion to determine whether or not the suit for which he is requesting transcripts is frivolous, and whether or not furnishing ...


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