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United States v. Cook

United States District Court, E.D. California

December 20, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
MARILYN COOK, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Troy L. Nunley United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant Marilyn Cook's (“Defendant”) Motion to Dismiss the Indictment. (ECF No. 5.) The Government filed an opposition. (ECF No. 6.) After carefully considering the parties' arguments and for the reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES Defendant's motion.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         The charges in this case arise from Defendant's alleged filing of false claims for property held by the California State Controller's Division of Unclaimed Property on behalf of the United States Marshals Services and others. (ECF No. 1.) On July 25, 2019, a federal grand jury returned an eight-count indictment charging Defendant with six counts of mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341, one count of wrongfully using a government seal in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1017, and one count of aggravated identity theft in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1). (ECF No. 6 at 1.)

         At the time the grand jury returned the instant indictment, Defendant was in federal custody pursuant to a pre-trial detention order and was scheduled to begin trial on distinct charges in the Eastern District of Tennessee. (ECF No. 6-3.) On July 31, 2019, a jury found Defendant guilty of presenting a fictitious financial instrument in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 514(a)(2) and presenting a false claim to the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 287(a). (ECF No. 6 at 2.) A sentencing hearing was scheduled for December 3, 2019. (Id.)

         The Government alleges that it promptly notified Defendant of the indictment pending in the Eastern District of California. (Id.) On September 6, 2019, Defendant filed a document labeled “Motion for Speedy Trial” wherein Defendant “move[d] the Court for the Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial.” (ECF No. 4.) On December 2, 2019, Defendant, proceeding pro se, filed the instant motion to dismiss the indictment based on a violation of her Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial. (ECF No. 5.)

         II. Standard of Law

         The Sixth Amendment guarantees that “[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial.” U.S. Const. amend. VI. “The right to a speedy trial attaches when a criminal proceeding is initiated, including when the defendant is indicted.” United States v. Myers, 930 F.3d 1113, 1118 (9th Cir. 2019).

         “In determining when the constitutional right is violated, the Supreme Court has rejected any rigid approaches or clearly defined rules.” Id. “Instead, the Court has adopted ‘a balancing test, in which the conduct of both the prosecution and the defendant are weighed.'” Id. (citing Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 530 (1972)). The Barker test establishes four factors to be balanced: “Length of delay, the reason for the delay, the defendant's assertion of his right, and prejudice to the defendant.” 407 U.S. at 530.

         “A court balances all four of these factors in a practical, case-by-case analysis under Barker.” Myers, 930 F.3d at 1120. “As the Court explained, none of the four factors is ‘either a necessary or sufficient condition to the finding of a deprivation of the right of speedy trial. Rather, they are related factors and must be considered together with such other circumstances as may be relevant.'” Id. (citing Barker, 407 U.S. at 533).

         III. Analysis

         Defendant summarily argues that the Government violated her Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial. (ECF No. 5.) She states that she received the indictment by mail on August 8, 2019, while in custody at a detention facility in Tennessee and filed a motion for a speedy trial on August 25, 2019. (Id.) Defendant's motion to dismiss lacks any other facts or legal arguments. In opposition, the Government applies Barker and argues it did not violate Defendant's right to a speedy trial. (ECF No. 6.) The Court will address the Barker factors in turn.

         A. Length of Delay

         “The length of delay is the threshold factor.” Myers, 930 F.3d at 1119. “[T]o trigger a speedy trial analysis, an accused must allege that the interval between accusation and trial has crossed the threshold dividing ordinary from ‘presumptively prejudicial' delay, since, by definition, he cannot complain that the government has denied him a ‘speedy' trial if it has, in fact, prosecuted his case with customary promptness.” Doggett v. United States, 505 U.S. 647, 651-52 (1992) (citation omitted). “[B]ecause of the imprecision of the right to speedy trial, the length of delay that will provoke such an inquiry is necessarily dependent upon ...


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