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United States v. Pippens

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division

November 20, 2014



SUSAN RUSS WALKER, Chief Magistrate Judge.

On November 18, 2014, the defendant, VONTARECIA D. PIPPENS, appeared in person and in open court with counsel and was arraigned in accordance with the provisions of Rule 10 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

PLEA. 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 on or before noon on February 18, 2015.

TRIAL. This case is set for jury selection at 10:00 a.m. on March 2, 2015, in Montgomery, Alabama before Chief United States Magistrate Judge Susan Russ Walker. A definite trial date will be determined at the time of jury selection, but counsel should be prepared to begin trial on the day of jury selection before the undersigned Chief United States Magistrate Judge. Any requested voir dire questions and jury instructions must be filed no later than one week before jury selection.

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.

PRETRIAL CONFERENCE. A Pretrial Conference is set for February 23, 2015, at 3:00 p.m. before Chief United States Magistrate Judge Susan Russ Walker in Courtroom 5B, Frank M. Johnson, Jr., Federal Building and United States Courthouse Complex, Montgomery, Alabama.

PRETRIAL MOTIONS. 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 must be consistent with the conference and certification requirements set forth in paragraph 4 of this order and must be filed no later than February 9, 2015. No motion filed after this date will be considered unless filed with leave of court.

Motions to suppress must allege specific facts which, if proven, would provide a basis of relief. This court will summarily dismiss suppression motions which are supported only by general or conclusory assertions founded on mere suspicion or conjecture. See generally United States v. Richardson, 764 F.2d 1514, 1526-27 (11th Cir. 1985).

DISCOVERY. Unless the government provided initial disclosures[1] to defendant prior to or at arraignment the government is ORDERED to tender initial disclosures to the defendant no later than 7 days after the date of this order. Disclosure by the defendant shall be provided no later than 14 days after the date of this order. No attorney shall file a discovery motion without first conferring with opposing counsel, and no motion will be considered by the court unless it is accompanied by a certification of such conference and a statement of the moving party's good faith efforts to resolve the subject matter of the motion by agreement with opposing counsel. No discovery motion shall be filed for information or material within the scope of this Rule unless it is a motion to compel, a motion for protective order or a motion for an order modifying discovery. See Fed. R. Crim. P. 16(d). Discovery requests made pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 16 and this Order require no action on the part of this court and shall not be filed with the court, unless the party making the request desires to preserve the discovery matter for appeal.

JENCKS ACT STATEMENTS. The government agrees to provide defense counsel with all Jencks Act statements no later than the day scheduled for the commencement of the trial.[2]

MANDATORY APPEARANCE OF COUNSEL. Counsel of record for all parties are ORDERED to appear at all future court proceedings in this criminal case. Those attorneys who find it impossible to be in attendance (especially at jury selection or trial) must make arrangements to have substitute counsel appear on behalf of their clients. Any attorney who appears as substitute counsel for a defendant shall have full authorization from the defendant to act on his or her behalf and be fully prepared to proceed. Substitute counsel shall not be counsel for a co-defendant unless permitted by the court after proper motion. Any counsel who wishes to have substitute counsel appear must obtain permission of the court in advance.

NOTE: Except in extraordinary circumstances or circumstances in which the Constitution would require it, the court will not entertain motions to withdraw filed by counsel who appear at arraignment unless the motions are filed within seven days of the date of this order. ...

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