United States District Court, D. Nevada
J. KOPPE United States Magistrate Judge
before the Court is an order to show cause why the stipulated
protective order with respect to Defendant Faris should not
be vacated. Docket No. 33. The response thereto also seeks
reconsideration of the Court's denial of the stipulated
protective order with respect to Defendant Amaralaborde.
See Docket No. 34 at 7; see also Docket No.
32 (order denying without prejudice stipulated protective
order). The Court held a hearing on these matters on May 9,
2017. Docket No. 37.
question before the Court is a discrete one, whether
Defendants in this case should be given copies of discovery
that include the personal identifying information of their
alleged victims. These copies would be available to
Defendants for their review in the prison law library.
See Docket No. 34 at 6. “At any time the court
may, for good cause, deny, restrict, or defer discovery or
inspection, or grant other appropriate relief.” Fed. R.
Crim. Pro. 16(d)(1). As the use of the word “may”
connotes, the conditions under which the defense may obtain
discovery is subject to the discretion of the Court. See,
e.g., In re Terrorist Bombings of U.S. Embassies in E.
Africa, 552 F.3d 93, 122 (2d Cir. 2008). In determining
whether a protective order should be entered, the Court is
also mindful of other applicable requirements, including the
requirement in the Crime Victims' Rights Act that,
inter alia, crime victims have the “right to
be reasonably protected from the accused.” 18 U.S.C.
§ 3771(a)(1). The Court finds the proposal to provide
Defendants copies of discovery with personal identifying
information, as currently written, runs afoul of this
provision of the Crime Victims' Rights Act.
articulated at the detention hearings in this case, the
Government contends that Defendants have a history of
non-compliance with previous Court orders (including failure
to appear and violation of terms of probation) and that they
pose a risk of danger to the community. See Hearing
Rec. (3/20/17) at 3:37 -3:38 p.m.; Hearing Rec. (4/26/17) at
3:17 - 3:18 p.m. The Government also explained at the hearing
held on the instant matters that Defendants engaged in the
theft of mail in this case, at least in part, for the purpose
of misusing the alleged victims' personal identifying
information. See Hearing Rec. (5/9/2017) at 8:37 -
8:38 a.m. Providing Defendants access to the very information
the Government contends they misused is highly problematic.
See, e.g., United States v. Griffin, 2014
WL 1767201, at *1-2 (S.D.Miss. May 2, 2014).
the Government's contentions, it now seeks to give
Defendants copies of discovery containing personal
identifying information of their alleged victims because (1)
the discovery is “voluminous” and (2) a
protective order will ensure compliance. Docket No. 34 at 3,
Neither position is persuasive. First, the discovery in this
case is estimated at 700 pages in length. See Docket
No. 30 at 2. That is not voluminous discovery. Second, the
Government's position that a protective order will
suffice to protect the rights of the alleged victims runs
counter to its previous contentions that Defendants have a
history of non-compliance with Court orders and may be in the
business of misusing personal identifying information for
short, the Court finds that giving Defendants copies of
discovery with their alleged victims' personal
identifying information is not appropriate in this case.
While it is clear that the Government could in fact redact
the personal identifying information, it appears the better
course in this case would be to segregate the evidence
containing personal identifying information (which appears to
be limited to some of the opened mail and the law enforcement
summary spreadsheet), and to only permit Defendants to review
those documents in the presence of defense counsel. See
Griffin, 2014 WL 1767201, at *1-2 (affirming magistrate
judge's ruling permitting detained defendant accused of
identity theft access to discovery with his alleged
victims' personal identifying information only when in
the presence of his counsel). The segregated discovery shall
remain in the possession of defense counsel.
these reasons, the Court hereby VACATES the stipulated
protective order with respect to Defendant Faris. The Court
further DENIES the request to reconsider the Court's
order on the stipulated protective order with respect to
Defendant Amaralaborde. The parties shall file, no later than
May 16, 2017, amended stipulated protective orders that
comport with this order.
 The citation to United States v.
Vaughn does not support the position advocated here, as
that court ordered that witness and victim identification and
contact information must be produced in unredacted form
to defense counsel but not to the defendant. 2008 WL
4615030, at *3 (E.D. Cal. Oct. 17, 2008) (“Any
disclosure pursuant to this order, or derived from
information produced pursuant to this order shall be
attorneys' eyes only . . . all [viewing] persons shall be
identified to the government and they shall sign a protective
order to be prepared by the government which precludes
dissemination to any other person, including the
defendant, of the disclosed information” (emphasis
added)). The Court echos the sentiment of Judge Hollows that
“the undersigned has no doubt that the defense lawyers
in this case . . . would not negligently or purposefully
disobey a protective order.” Id.
 The position that the protective order
will suffice to protect the alleged victims because the
Defendants are in custody is similarly lacking. See
Docket No. 34 at 6 (outlining procedures for prisoners to
review discovery materials). Those procedures do not prevent
Defendants from, inter alia, making notes regarding
the materials, and such ...