United States District Court, D. Minnesota
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO SUBSTITUTE COUNSEL
Wilhelmina M. Wright United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on Defendant Jarmell Raymond
Mayweather's motion to substitute counsel. (Dkt. 130.)
Mayweather and his appointed counsel, Douglas B. Altman,
presented oral arguments at a March 27, 2019 motion hearing,
and the Court took the matter under advisement. For the
reasons addressed below, Mayweather's motion to
substitute counsel is denied.
Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects a
defendant's right to be represented by counsel at all
critical stages of a criminal proceeding, including
sentencing. U.S. Const. amend. VI; accord Mempa v.
Rhay, 389 U.S. 128, 134-36 (1967); United States v.
Wade, 388 U.S. 218, 224 (1967); McClain v.
Swenson, 435 F.2d 327, 332 (8th Cir. 1970). But this
right to be represented by counsel does not amount
to an absolute right to the defendant's choice of that
attorney. United States v. Owen, 854 F.3d 536, 542
(8th Cir. 2017). To prevail on a motion to substitute
counsel, a defendant must show “justifiable
dissatisfaction” with appointed counsel. United
States v. Swinney, 970 F.2d 494, 499 (8th Cir. 1992)
(internal quotation marks omitted). Justifiable
dissatisfaction includes a conflict of interest,
irreconcilable differences, or a complete breakdown of
communication between the defendant and counsel. Id.
But justifiable dissatisfaction does not include “a
defendant's frustration with counsel who does not share
defendant's tactical opinions but continues to provide
zealous representation.” United States v.
Barrow, 287 F.3d 733, 738 (8th Cir. 2002).
decision to grant or deny a motion to substitute counsel
rests within the district court's sound discretion.
United States v. Delacruz, 865 F.3d 1000, 1008 (8th
Cir. 2017). In reaching its decision, a district court
balances “the need to ensure effective legal
representation, the need to thwart abusive delay tactics, and
the reality that a person accused of crime is often genuinely
unhappy with an appointed counsel who is nonetheless doing a
good job.” Barrow, 287 F.3d at 738 (internal
quotation marks omitted).
who is represented by Altman, is constitutionally entitled to
the assistance of counsel at his upcoming sentencing
hearing. See U.S. Const. amend. VI;
McClain, 435 F.2d at 332. Mayweather's
frustrations with Altman's prior tactical decisions do
not present a conflict of interest, irreconcilable
differences, or a complete breakdown of communication between
Mayweather and Altman. See Barrow, 287 F.3d at 738.
After carefully considering Mayweather's arguments, the
Court has no doubt that Altman can represent Mayweather
zealously and effectively at Mayweather's sentencing
hearing. For this reason, Mayweather has not established that
he is entitled to substitute counsel.
Court's decision here is limited to the issue before the
Court-namely, whether Mayweather is entitled to substitute
counsel at the upcoming sentencing hearing. This Order does
not reach a conclusion about any other claims that Mayweather
may intend to raise in the future, including claims of
ineffective assistance of counsel.
on the foregoing analysis and all the files, records and
proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
Defendant Jarmell Raymond Mayweather's Pro Se Motion for
New Counsel, (Dkt. 130), is DENIED.
parties shall submit objections or proposed amendments to the
preliminary presentence investigation report on or before
April 17, 2019.
parties shall contact Chambers to schedule a sentencing
 As addressed in the Court's March
11, 2019 Order, the time to file a motion for judgment of
acquittal or a new trial in this case has passed, and good
cause to extend that deadline has not been shown.
Accordingly, only the sentencing stage of these proceedings
 Ineffective assistance of counsel
claims are ordinarily raised in collateral proceedings under
28 U.S.C. § 2255. United States v.
Gallegos-Torres, 841 F.2d 240, 242-43 (8th Cir. 1988).
Such a ...