Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Rollins

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 13, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
JASON P. ROLLINS Defendant.

          ORDER

          KENDALL J. NEWMAN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Presently pending before the court is defendant's motion to sever the counts for trial. (ECF No. 24.) The United States opposed the motion, and defendant filed a reply brief. (ECF Nos. 25, 28.) At the April 12, 2017 hearing, the court also entertained oral argument with respect to the motion. Attorney Robert Artuz appeared on behalf of the United States, and attorney Linda Allison and certified law student Brittany Berzin appeared on behalf of defendant. After carefully considering the court's record and the applicable law, the court GRANTS the motion and schedules the trials and pretrial deadlines as outlined below.

         BACKGROUND

         On December 30, 2016, the United States filed a Superseding Information containing nine counts of violations allegedly committed by defendant: (1) possession of a controlled substance, namely, marijuana in violation of 36 C.F.R. § 2.35(b)(2); (2) possession of drug paraphernalia, namely, a methamphetamine pipe in violation of Cal. Health & Safety Code § 11364(a); (3) failure to comply with traffic control devices in violation of 36 C.F.R. § 4.12; (4) failure to pay recreational fees in violation of 36 C.F.R. § 2.23(b); (5) violating closure and public use limits in violation of 36 C.F.R. § 1.5(f); (6) failure to obey posted signs in violation of 36 C.F.R. § 4.2 and Cal. Veh. Code § 21461.5; (7) failure to notify DMV of ownership transfer in violation of 36 C.F.R. § 4.2 and Cal. Veh. Code § 5902; (8) possession of a controlled substance: marijuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 844(a); and (9) possession of a controlled substance: methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 844(a). (ECF No. 22.)

         Counts 8 and 9 arise from a March 13, 2015 traffic stop on Highway 3 in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. In the course of the traffic stop and subsequent search, the officer allegedly discovered marijuana and methamphetamine in defendant's car. Counts 8 and 9 are Class A misdemeanors for which defendant has a right to a jury trial.

         Counts 1 through 7 arise from a March 8, 2016 incident where defendant, accompanied by a female, allegedly entered an area closed to the public in the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area (approximately 70 miles away from the location of the 2015 incident), with defendant's vehicle allegedly parked in front of the closed area. Defendant was ultimately arrested based on a purportedly outstanding warrant; his car was towed; and upon a search, marijuana and a methamphetamine pipe were allegedly discovered in the car. Counts 1 through 7 are all Class B misdemeanors for which there is no right to a jury trial.

         The case is presently set for trial on May 12, 2017. (ECF No. 23.) However, as noted above, defendant has filed a motion pursuant to Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 8 and 14 to sever Counts 1-7 from Counts 8-9 for purposes of trial. (ECF No. 24.)

         DISCUSSION

         Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 8 provides, in part, that:

The indictment or information may charge a defendant in separate counts with 2 or more offenses if the offenses charged--whether felonies or misdemeanors or both--are of the same or similar character, or are based on the same act or transaction, or are connected with or constitute parts of a common scheme or plan.

Fed. R. Crim. P. 8(a). In turn, Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 14 provides, in part, that:

If the joinder of offenses or defendants in an indictment, an information, or a consolidation for trial appears to prejudice a defendant or the government, the court may order separate trials of counts, sever the defendants' trials, or provide any other relief that justice requires.

Fed. R. Crim. P. 14(a).

         The court first analyzes whether the counts at issue were properly joined pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 8, before considering whether any relief pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 14 is warranted.

         Propriety of Joinder Pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 8(a)

         “Because Rule 14 is available as a remedy for prejudice that may develop during the trial, Rule 8 has been broadly construed in favor of initial joinder.” United States v. Jawara, 474 F.3d 565, 573 (9th Cir. 2007) (citation and quotation marks omitted); see also United States v. Lane, 474 U.S. 438, 449 (1986) (recognizing that joint trials conserve government funds, diminish inconvenience to witnesses and public authorities, and avoid delays in bringing those accused of a crime to trial). “Nonetheless, the joinder decision warrants scrutiny, and Rule 14 should not be viewed as a backstop or substitute for the initial analysis required under Rule 8(a). At least one of Rule 8(a)'s three conditions must be satisfied for proper joinder, and those conditions, although phrased in general terms, are not infinitely elastic.” ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.