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United States v. Andrews

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

May 8, 2019

United States of America, Plaintiff,
Norris Deshon Andrews, Defendant.

          Jeffrey S. Paulsen, United States Attorney's Office, for Plaintiff.

          Norris Deshon Andrews, Reg. No. 21579-041, Pro Se.



         This matter comes before the Court on the Objections (“Objections”) [Doc. No. 150] of Defendant Norris Deshon Andrews to Magistrate Judge David T. Schultz's Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) dated March 15, 2019 [Doc. No. 144] recommending that Defendant's Motion to Dismiss on Speedy Trial [Doc. No. 126] (“Motion to Dismiss”) be denied. For the reasons set forth below, this Court overrules Defendant's Objections, adopts the R&R in its entirety, and denies Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.

         I. Procedural History

         The following procedural history is relevant to the analysis of Andrews' speedy trial rights in this case. On June 22, 2018, Andrews made an initial appearance and the Indictment against him was unsealed. (June 22, 2019 Hr'g Min. [Doc. No. 7].) At that initial appearance, the Government moved to detain Andrews pending trial, tolling the speedy trial clock. (Id.) The Court then held a detention hearing and granted the motion on June 26, 2018. (June 26, 2018 Hr'g Min. [Doc. No. 11].) On July 16, 2018, Andrews' then-counsel, Mr. Reggie Aligada, sought a continuance of the filing deadline for criminal motions. (Def's Mot. for Continuance [Doc. No. 20].) The Court granted that Motion on July 18. (Order Granting Def's Mot. for Continuance [Doc. No. 22].)

         Less than a week later, on July 24, Andrews filed a Motion for Disclosure of Rule 404 Evidence. (Def's Mot. for Disclosure [Doc. No. 24]), as well as numerous other motions ([Doc. Nos. 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31].) The clock was then tolled. The Court held an evidentiary hearing related to those motions on September 10. (Sept. 10, 2018 Hr'g Min. [Doc. No. 39].) That hearing was continued by the Court when counsel for Andrews discovered that the Government had failed to produce an exhibit. (R&R at 2.) At the continued hearing, on September 19, Andrews chose to appear pro se, with Mr. Aligada serving as standby counsel. (Sept. 19, 2018 Hr'g Trans. 2:5-10 [Doc. No. 62].) The hearing went past the close of business, so the Court continued the matter until October 5. (Id. at 89:22-25.) On that date, the Court held another hearing and a post-hearing briefing schedule was set. (Oct. 5, 2018 Hr'g Min. [Doc. No. 48].)

         On October 17, Mr. Aligada filed a motion to withdraw as counsel due to a conflict of interest. (Aligada's Mot. to Withdraw [Doc. No. 60].) The Court granted Mr. Aligada's motion and appointed Mr. Kevin O'Brien as counsel for Andrews. (Order Granting Aligada's Mot. to Withdraw [Doc. No. 64]; Order Appointing Attorney [Doc. No. 67].) Then, on November 9, the Court held a Faretta evidentiary hearing to determine whether Andrews wished to represent himself. (Nov. 9, 2018 Hr'g Min. [Doc. No. 72].) During that hearing, the Court determined that it was unclear whether Andrews wished to retain Mr. O'Brien as his counsel. (Id.) Therefore, the Court continued the hearing, explicitly finding that the ends of justice outweighed Andrews' interest in a speedy trial, and excluded the period from November 9 to November 26. (Nov. 13, 2018 Order [Doc. No. 74].)

         Andrews continued to file pretrial motions. [Doc. Nos. 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 91, 93, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 109, 110, 111, 112, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 126, 128, 132, 135, 137, 138, 141, 142, 148]. On February 13, 2019, Andrews filed this Motion to Dismiss for violation of the Speedy Trial Act pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161 and his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial. (See Mot. to Dismiss at 1.)

         The magistrate judge determined, in his R&R, that an “accurate calculation of the non[-]excludable time since Andrews' indictment affirms that his speedy trial clock has not reached the seventieth day.” (R&R at 4.) Magistrate Judge Schultz calculated that, since Andrews made his initial appearance on June 22, 2018, twenty-five non-excludable days had passed. (Id. at 4-5.)

         Andrews objects, both orally and in writing, to this finding. Andrews argues that any time elapsed after a continuance is granted may not be excluded, because the magistrate judge in this case “did not set out an order for exclusion in the record orally [or] in writing.” (Obj. at 3.) Andrews contends that this argument applies to each of the magistrate judge's continuances. (See Obj. at 1-7.)

         II. Discussion

         A. Standard of Review

         Upon issuance of an R&R, a party may “serve and file specific written objections to the proposed findings and recommendations.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2). The objections should specify the portion of the magistrate judge's [R&R] to which objections are made and provide a basis for those objections. Mayer v. Walvatne, No. 07-cv-1958 (JRT/RLE), 2008 WL 4527774, at *2 (D. Minn. Sept. 28, 2008). Then, the district court will review de novo those portions of the R&R to which an objection is made, and it “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, ...

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