United States District Court, Middle District of Alabama, Southern Division
ORDER ON ARRAIGNMENT
SUSAN RUSS WALKER CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
On June 17, 2014, the defendant, CHARLES T. GRIMES, appeared in person and in open court with counsel, Leslie Smith, and was arraigned in accordance with the provisions of Rule 10 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
The defendant entered a plea of NOT GUILTY. Counsel for the defendant is requested to contact the U.S. Attorney immediately if the defendant intends to engage in plea negotiations. If the defendant decides to change this plea, the parties shall file a notice of intent to plead guilty or otherwise notify the clerk’s office at or before the pretrial conference and then this action will be set on a plea docket.
PRELIMINARY SENTENCING GUIDELINES INFORMATION.
The court no longer requires the United States Probation Office to provide preliminary sentencing guideline information to defendants. However, in difficult or complex cases defendants may request the United States Probation Office to provide Sentencing Guideline calculation assistance with the understanding that any estimate is tentative only and is not binding on the United States Probation Office, the parties or the court. The court expects that requests for Sentencing Guideline calculation assistance shall be the exception and that defendants will not make such requests a matter of routine. A request for Sentencing Guideline calculation assistance shall be made in writing to the supervisor of the Presentence Investigation Unit of the United States Probation Office not later than 10 days from the date of this order. The calculation shall be completed not later than one week before the pretrial conference.
An initial pretrial conference is hereby set for August 7, 2014, at 3:00 p.m. before Chief United States Magistrate Judge Susan Russ Walker in Courtroom 5-B, Frank M. Johnson, Jr. Federal Building and United States Courthouse Complex, One Church Street, Montgomery, Alabama. Not later than three days prior to the date of the pretrial conference, counsel shall confer about the issues and matters to be discussed at the pretrial conference as set forth in this order. Counsel who want in- custody defendants to attend must notify the Magistrate Judge within three days of the conference date so that an order to produce can be issued to the United States Marshal.
At the pretrial conference, defense counsel and counsel for the government shall be fully prepared to discuss all pending motions, the status of discovery, possible stipulations, and the estimated length of the trial. Defense counsel and counsel for the government shall be fully prepared to provide a definite commitment as to the final disposition of this case – by trial, plea or other non-trial disposition. If resolution of a dispositive motion will affect the nature of this commitment, counsel must be fully prepared to discuss this type of resolution. If the case is for plea, the notice of intent to enter a plea should be filed at the time of the pretrial conference. If counsel require additional time for plea negotiations, counsel should be prepared to inform the court about the date when those negotiations will be completed.
At arraignment, the parties agreed that due to the nature of this case, the need for adequate time for discovery and the need for counsel to have adequate time for trial preparation, the case should be set for trial before United States District Judge Mark E. Fuller on the trial term beginning on December 1, 2014 in Dothan, Alabama at 10:00 a.m., unless otherwise ordered by the court.
In setting this case for trial on the term indicated above, the court recognizes that the Speedy Trial Act places limits on the court’s discretion, and that under the act, the trial of a defendant must commence within 70 days of the date of the indictment or the date of the defendant’s first appearance before a judicial officer, whichever is later. 18 U.S.C. § 3161(c)(1). In determining whether a case should be set after the expiration of the 70 day period, a court must consider among other factors “[w]hether the failure to [set the case at a later date] ... would be likely to ... result in a miscarriage of justice.” 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(B)(I). The court also must consider “whether the failure to grant such a continuance ... would deny counsel for the defendant or the attorney for the government the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation, taking into account the exercise of due diligence.” 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(B)(iv). Based on the nature of this case, the parties’ need for adequate time for discovery and the need for counsel to have adequate time for trial preparation, the court finds that the ends of justice served by setting this case on this trial term outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial.
All pretrial motions under Fed. R. Crim. P. 12(b) and (d), 14 and 16; all notices under Fed. R. Crim. P. 12.1, 12.2 and 12.3; and any motion to compel pursuant to M.D. Ala. LCrR 16.1 Criminal Discovery (a copy of this Rule may be found at http://www.almd.uscourts.gov/docs/lorules.pdf.) must be filed no later than TWO DAYS BEFORE THE FIRST PRETRIAL CONFERENCE HELD IN THIS CASE, except that if the pretrial conference falls on Monday, the deadline for filing pretrial motions is always the preceding Wednesday. No motion filed after this date will be considered unless filed with leave of court. A continuance of the pretrial conference or trial does not extend the motions deadline. THE CONFERENCING REQUIREMENT SET ...