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United States v. Hall

United States District Court, D. Nevada

January 11, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
KEVIN HALL, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER (DOCKET NO. 240)

          NANCY J. KOPPE United States Magistrate Judge.

         Pending before the Court is Defendant Kevin Hall's motion to reopen the pretrial motions deadline. Docket No. 240. The Court has considered Defendant's motion, the United States' response, and Defendant's reply. Docket Nos. 240, 246, 248. The Court has also considered co-Defendant Keith Williams' joinder to Defendant Hall's motion. Docket No. 245.

         Defendant Hall submits that his current counsel was appointed to represent him on September 16, 2016. Docket No. 240 at 3. Shortly thereafter, counsel received the “entire discovery file” from Defendant's current counsel which, she represents, consists of a binder with thousands of pages of discovery and approximately 54 electronic discs containing “additional written discovery, transcribed statements, photographs, video surveillance and audio recordings of witness statements.” Id. Defendant submits that, based upon counsel's review of the discovery provided, she believes pretrial motions should be filed.[1] Id. While Defendant concedes that the motions deadline has already passed, he contends that, as it expired prior to the time his current counsel was appointed, his current counsel could not have filed the instant request before the deadline elapsed. Id.

         In response, the United States submits that the deadline for pretrial motions expired on November 10, 2014. Docket No. 246 at 1. The United States further submits that neither the fact that discovery is voluminous nor the fact that current counsel was recently appointed to represent Defendant constitutes good cause to reopen the pretrial motions deadline. Id. Finally, the United States notes that, on February 8, 2016, the Court found pretrial motions filed by a co-defendant were untimely. Id. Therefore, the United States asks the Court to deny Defendant's motion. Id.

         In reply, Defendant repeats that the recent appointment of current counsel “should justify any failure to raise a potential claim or defense timely as counsel was not the attorney of record at the time the pre-trial motions deadline lapsed.” Docket No. 248 at 3. Defendant states that counsel “concluded there are a number of motions that should be researched and potentially filed, ” and that “counsel believes that [Defendant] may suffer extreme prejudice if he is not able to raise potential claims and defenses.” Id. (emphasis supplied). Finally, Defendant submits that “the decision of what, if any motions should be filed are strategic decisions made by counsel of record, ” and that current counsel “cannot opine as to why prior counsel did not elect to file certain motions.” Id. at 4. Instead, Defendant again submits that “there appear to be pretrial motions that may have merit, and should be researched and potentially filed” and that counsel believes Defendant “may suffer extreme prejudice” if the motions deadline is not reopened. Id.

         I.PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On July 29, 2014, a criminal complaint was filed, charging Defendants Hall and Williams[2] with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951; brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) and (iii), and 2; and interference with commerce by robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1951 and 2. Docket No. 1.

         On July 31, 2014, at Defendants' initial appearances, the Court appointed counsel to represent them. Docket Nos. 3, 7, 9, 11. On September 17, 2014, both Defendants, through counsel, filed motions to conduct a pre-plea presentence investigation report. Docket No. 19, 20. On September 23, 2014, both motions were granted. Docket Nos. 24, 25.

         On September 17, 2014, Defendant Hall filed a motion to dismiss counsel and appoint new counsel. Docket No. 21. On September 19, 2014, Defendant Williams filed a motion to dismiss counsel and appoint new counsel. Docket No. 23.

         On September 30, 2014, Defendants were indicted on one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951; two counts of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) and (iii), and 2; and two counts of interference with commerce by robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1951 and 2. Docket No. 27.

         On October 7, 2014, the Court held a hearing on Defendant Hall's motion to dismiss counsel and appoint new counsel. Docket No. 34. After speaking with Defendant and his counsel in camera, the Court granted Defendant Hall's motion and appointed Jess Marchese as counsel for Defendant. Id.; see also Docket No. 39. On the same date, the Court held a hearing on Defendant Williams' motion to dismiss counsel and appoint new counsel. Docket No. 36. After speaking with Defendant and his counsel in camera, the Court granted Defendant Williams' motion and appointed Jeannie Hua as counsel for Defendant. Id.; see also Docket No. 37.[3]

         On October 9, 2014, Defendants Williams and Hall were both arraigned on the indictment. Docket Nos. 41, 43. On the same day, the Court issued an order regarding pretrial motions, which set the pretrial motions deadline for November 10, 2014.[4] Docket No. 40. Additionally, trial was set for December 1, 2014. Docket No. 42.

         On November 12, 2014, the parties filed a stipulation to continue the calendar call and trial dates, but not the now-expired pretrial motion deadlines. Docket No. 55. On November 20, 2014, the stipulation was granted, and the trial date was continued to March 30, 2015. Docket No. 59.

         On November 20, 2014, Defendant Williams, through counsel, filed a sealed ex parte motion relating to his case. Docket No. 58. On December 5, 2014, the Court denied this motion without prejudice. Docket No. 68. On December 12, 2014, Defendant Williams, through counsel, again filed a sealed ex parte motion relating to his case. Docket No. 75. On December 29, 2014, Defendant Williams, through counsel, supplemented the motion and, on January 7, 2015, the Court granted it. Docket Nos. 78, 79.

         On November 21, 2014, Defendant Hall, through counsel, filed a motion to reopen his detention hearing. Docket No. 60. On December 3, 2014, the Court granted Defendant Hall's request to be interviewed by Pretrial Services. Docket No. 65. On December 8, 2014, the Court held a hearing on the motion to reopen Defendant Hall's detention hearing and denied it. Docket No. 69.

         On December 4, 2014, Defendant Williams, through counsel, filed a motion to reopen his detention hearing. Docket No. 66. On December 10, 2014, the Court set a hearing on this motion for December 19, 2014. Docket No. 71. On December 12, 2014, Defendant Williams, ...


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