United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS TO DISMISS,
DISQUALIFY, PROCEED PRO SE, AND WITHDRAW INSANITY DEFENSE RE:
DKT. NOS. 24, 29, 63
M. CHESNEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court are three motions: (1) a motion, filed June 6,
2017, by defendant Kuang-Bao Ou-Young ("Ou-Young"),
titled "Defendant's . . . Motion to Dismiss, Motion
to Disqualify U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch and His Office,
Motion to Disqualify Defendant's Council [sic], and
Motion to Disqualify Judges" (Dkt. No. 24); (2) a
motion, filed July 14, 2017, by Ou-Young, titled
"Defendant's . . . Second Motion to Dismiss, Second
Motion to Disqualify U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch and His
Office, Second Motion to Disqualify Defendant's Counsel,
and Second Motion to Disqualify Judges" (Dkt. No. 29);
and (3) an untitled motion, filed January 9, 2018, by which
Ou-Young seeks to "release attorney James M. Thompson
[("Thompson")] as his counsel and proceed pro
se" (see Dkt. No. 63 at 1), "withdraw
any Notice of an Insanity Defense as well as any related
motions . . . Thompson may have filed on [Ou-Young's]
behalf" (see id.), dismiss the instant case,
and disqualify the Court. Each such motion was filed by Ou-Young
himself, not on his behalf by Thompson, his attorney of
record. The United States has filed opposition to
Ou-Young's first and second motions, to which opposition
both Ou-Young and Thompson have replied. The Court, having
read and considered the parties' respective written
submissions, rules as follows.
defendant cannot choose to represent himself if he is not
competent to waive his constitutional right to counsel."
See United States v. Bishop, 291 F.3d 1100, 1114
(9th Cir. 2002). For the same reasons, "a person whose
competence to stand trial [is] in question . . . [can]not
legally waive his right to counsel." See United
States v. Kowalczyk, 805 F.3d 847, 857-58 (9th Cir.
2015) (explaining "Congress through [18 U.S.C.] §
4247(d) has the authority to require representation by
counsel for a defendant whose competency is in question
during competency proceedings"); see also 18
U.S.C. § 4247(d) (providing, "[a]t a hearing
ordered pursuant to this chapter [Chapter 313, titled
"Offenders with Mental Disease or Defect"][, ] the
person whose mental condition is the subject of the hearing
shall be represented by counsel").
on June 7, 2017, at the initial status conference for the
instant case, Thompson and government counsel jointly
requested a competency evaluation for Ou-Young, which request
the Court granted. See Crim. Mins., filed Jun. 7,
2017 (Dkt. No. 25). Subsequently, following a competency
hearing conducted pursuant to § 4247 on December 13,
2017, the Court found Ou-Young "is presently suffering
from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally
incompetent to the extent that he is unable to assist
properly in his defense, " see Order for
Commitment and Restoration of Def., filed Dec. 19, 2017, at
1:18-20 (Dkt. No. 62), and, consequently, ordered Ou-Young
committed to a medical facility "to determine whether
there is a substantial probability . . . the defendant will
attain the capacity to permit the proceedings to go
forward" (see id. at 1:23-24); at said hearing,
the Court also denied Ou-Young's oral motions to
discharge counsel and be released from custody. See
Crim. Mins., filed Dec. 13, 2017 (Dkt. No. 59). As of the
date of the instant order, Ou-Young is under evaluation at a
federal medical center.
events set forth above show, on or about the date on which
Ou-Young filed each of the above-referenced motions, his
competency was either in question or he was under an order of
commitment for incompetency. Accordingly, to the extent
Ou-Young, by any of the above-referenced written motions,
seeks to release Thompson as his attorney and to proceed pro
se, said motions are hereby DENIED. See Bishop, 291
F.3d at 1114; Kowalczyk, 805 F.3d at 857.
in light of such denial, and in light of Ou-Young's
continued representation by Thompson as counsel of record,
who has not concurred in any of Ou-Young's three
above-referenced filings, the remaining requests therein are
IS SO ORDERED.
 No notice of an insanity defense has
been filed in the instant case.
 No response has been filed with
respect to Ou-Young's third motion.
 Approximately three weeks prior to the
initial status conference, Thompson made his initial request
for a determination of Ou-Young's mental competency.
(See Mot. for Hr'g on Def.'s Comp. and for
Exam'n Before Such Hr'g[, ] 18 U.S.C. § ...