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United States v. Morales

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

December 27, 2019

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Jose Martin Morales (2), also known as Gordo, Defendant.

          Andrew R. Winter, Esq., and Bradley M. Endicott, Esq., United States Attorney's Office, counsel for Plaintiff.

          Robert A. Lengeling, Esq., counsel for Defendant Morales.

          CORRECTED ORDER

          BECKY R. THORSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This action came on for hearing before the Court on December 20, 2019, at the U.S. Courthouse, 316 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101. Defendant Jose Martin Morales presented various pretrial motions, and the Government presented a motion for discovery. Based on the file and documents contained herein, along with the memoranda and arguments of counsel, the Court makes the following Order:

         1. Government's Motion for Discovery Pursuant to Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 16(b), 12.1, 12.2, 12.3 and 26.2.

         The Government seeks disclosure of documents and tangible objects, reports of examinations and tests, and a written summary of expert testimony pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 16(b). The Government also seeks disclosure of any alibi by the Defendant pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 12.1, and all witness statements pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 26.2. In addition, the Government seeks notice (by the pretrial-motions-hearing date) pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 12.2, if Defendant intends to rely upon the defense of insanity or introduce expert testimony relating to a mental disease or defect or any other mental condition of the Defendant bearing on the issue of guilt. The Government also seeks notice (by the pretrial-motions-hearing date) pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 12.3, if Defendant intends to rely upon the defense of actual or believed exercise of public authority on behalf of a law enforcement agency or federal intelligence agency at the time of the offense. Defendant filed no objection to the motion. Therefore, Defendant is hereby ordered to comply with the discovery and disclosure obligations under the aforementioned rules. The Government's Motion for Discovery Pursuant to Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 16(b), 12.1, 12.2, 12.3 and 26.2 (Doc. No. 15) is GRANTED. The parties must disclose the identity of any non-rebuttal experts and all non-rebuttal expert disclosures 30 days before trial. Any rebuttal experts must be noticed along with the production of rebuttal expert disclosures no later than 10 days before trial.

         2. Defendant's Motion for Discovery.

         Defendant requests an order requiring the Government to produce or permit various items of discovery, inspection, and copying pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 16 and any other statutory or constitutional rules. The Government represents that it has made all disclosures required under Rule 16, and it does not object to Defendant's various requests to the extent such disclosures are required by the Rules. Defendant's Motion for Discovery (Doc. No. 17) is GRANTED to the extent that it conforms to Fed. R. Crim. P. 12, 16, and 26.2 and is not already moot. The motion is DENIED to the extent that the Jencks Act protects disclosure, and identification of witnesses shall be done in accordance with the District Court's pretrial order on disclosure of witness and exhibit lists.

         3. Defendant's Motion for Disclosure of Informants Prior to Trial.

         Defendant moves for the disclosure of the identities of any confidential informants, along with criminal history information and other relevant information concerning each informant. The Government responds that this case does not involve cooperating individuals who were percipient witnesses to matters relevant to the charges in the Indictment, but were instead mere tipsters. The Government represents that it does not intend to call an informant to prove its case, and it asserts its privilege to withhold the identities of those individuals. See United States v. Hollis, 245 F.3d 671, 674 (8th Cir. 2001) (discussing the Government's privilege to withhold identities and noting the “Constitution does not require that prosecutors disclose the identity of confidential informants in every case”). Based on the Government's representations, Defendant's Motion for Disclosure of Confidential Informants (Doc. No. 18) is DENIED.

         4. Defendant's Motion for Disclosure of Expert Witnesses.

         Defendant seeks an order requiring the Government to disclose a written summary of any expert testimony the Government intends to use at trial. The Government represents that it is fully aware of its obligations under the Fed. R. Crim. P. 16(a)(1)(G) and that it will provide Defendant with reasonable notice prior to trial. Defendant's Motion for Disclosure of Expert Witness Testimony (Doc. No. 19) is GRANTED to the extent that it conforms to the scope of Rule 16. The parties must disclose the identity of any non-rebuttal experts and all non-rebuttal expert disclosures 30 days before trial. Any rebuttal experts must be noticed along with the production of rebuttal expert disclosures no later than 10 days before trial.

         5. Defendant's Motion for Disclosure of 404(b) Evidence.

         Defendant moves for disclosure of any “bad act” or “similar course of conduct” evidence that the Government intends to offer at trial pursuant to Fed.R.Evid. 404. The Government represents that it will comply with Rule 404 and that it is agreeable to disclosure 14 days prior to trial. Defendant's Motion for Disclosure of 404 Evidence (Doc. No. 20) is GRANTED ...


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