In order to have counsel appointed in West Virginia for a habeas corpus petition, the accused must first submit a petition to the circuit court where he was convicted along with an application to proceed in forma pauperis (as a pauper). If the circuit court finds the petition has any merit and approves the in forma pauperis application, THEN but NOT BEFORE the court must appoint counsel to assist the petitioner.
This may seem unfair, but I note that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled long ago there is no constitutional right to an appointed counsel for any proceedings after the direct appeal so in many states the accused has no choice but to represent him or herself on a state petition for habeas corpus.
Cal. Bar No. 104800
Wis. Bar No. 1020123
Member: U.S. Supreme Court Bar