United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Wilhelmina M. Wright United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on Defendant Jarmell Raymond
Mayweather's motions for an extension of time to file a
motion for a judgment of acquittal or new trial, (Dkt. 131),
and for new counsel, (Dkt. 130). For the reasons addressed
below, Mayweather's motion for an extension of time is
denied. The Court will conduct a hearing on Mayweather's
motion for new counsel on a date to be determined.
convicted Mayweather of possession with intent to distribute
cocaine base and cocaine on December 14, 2018. Mayweather
was, and currently is, represented by attorney Douglas B.
Altman. Approximately two months after the deadline to file a
motion for a judgment of acquittal or a new trial, Mayweather
filed the two pending pro se motions. The Court addresses
each motion in turn.
Motion for Extension of Time
moves to extend the deadline to file a motion for a judgment
of acquittal or a new trial. Mayweather contends that he
missed the original filing deadline because of a
misrepresentation by Altman.
motion for a judgment of acquittal or a motion for a new
trial that is grounded on any reason other than newly
discovered evidence must be filed within 14 days after a
guilty verdict. Fed. R. Crim. P. 29(c)(1), 33(b)(2). A
district court can extend this deadline for good cause. Fed.
R. Crim. P. 45(b)(1). When, as here, a motion for an
extension of time is filed after the deadline has
passed, a court may consider the untimely motion if the
moving party's delay was the result of excusable neglect.
Fed. R. Crim. P. 45(b)(1)(B). As such, a court may provide
equitable relief when a delay is “caused by
inadvertence, mistake, or carelessness, as well as by
intervening circumstances beyond the party's
control.” Kurka v. Iowa Cty., 628 F.3d 953,
959 (8th Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks omitted).
to consider when determining whether a delay is attributable
to excusable neglect include (1) the risk of prejudice to the
opposing party, (2) the length of delay and the corresponding
impact on judicial proceedings, (3) the reason for the delay
and whether the delay was within the moving party's
reasonable control, and (4) whether the moving party acted in
good faith. United States v. Boesen, 599 F.3d 874,
879 (8th Cir. 2010). Of primary importance is the reason for
the party's delay. See Kurka, 628 F.3d at 959.
times relevant to this proceeding, Altman represented
Mayweather. Based on Mayweather's submissions to the
Court, he and Altman discussed post-trial strategy. According
to Mayweather, after one such discussion, he was left with
the impression that Altman was pursuing a motion for a
judgment of acquittal or a new trial. And only after the
14-day deadline to file these motions had passed did
Mayweather learn that Altman was preparing documents only for
a direct appeal.
decisions about which motions to file are the responsibility
of counsel after consulting with the client. See Jones v.
Barnes, 463 U.S. 745, 753 n.6 (1983) (stating that,
except for the decisions of whether a client should plea,
waive a jury trial, or testify, all other “strategic
and tactical decisions are the exclusive province of the
defense counsel, after consultation with the client.”
(citing Model Rules of Prof'l Conduct r. 1.2(a) (Am. Bar
Ass'n Final Draft 1982) and ABA Standards for Criminal
Justice 4-5.2 (2d ed. 1980)). A defendant's right to
appointed counsel does not include the right
“to an attorney who will docilely do as [the attorney]
is told.” United States v. Thomas, 760 F.3d
879, 887 (8th Cir. 2014) (internal quotation marks omitted).
For this reason, the disagreement between Mayweather and
Altman on strategy is not the type of mistake or inadvertence
that amounts to excusable neglect. See Kurka, 628
F.3d at 959. The Court finds no good cause to extend the
deadline based merely on differing opinions held by
Mayweather and Altman as to post-trial strategy. See
Fed. R. Crim. P. 45(b)(1).
no other factor, singularly or combined, overcomes this
conclusion. Delaying any potential new trial would increase
the likelihood that witnesses will “become unavailable
and memories [will] fade.” Boesen, 599 F.3d at
879. And although the length of the delay is only a few
months and there is no detectable bad faith motive on
Mayweather's part, these factors are of secondary
importance. See Kurka, 628 F.3d at 959.
these reasons, Mayweather's motion for an extension of
the deadline to file a motion for a judgment of acquittal or
new trial is denied.