United States District Court, E.D. Washington
ORDER RE: RENEWED MOTION TO DISMISS
L. QUACKENBUSH SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
THE COURT was Defendant's Renewed Motion to Dismiss (ECF
No. 55). The court did not require the Government to respond.
Testimony of the Defendant and oral argument was heard on
June 2, 2017. Defendant was present and in custody,
represented by Colin Prince of the Federal Defenders of
Eastern Washington and Idaho. The Government was represented
by Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Van Marter.
This Order memorializes and supplements the court's oral
Introduction/Summary of the Case
detailed procedural summary of both the state and federal
proceedings up to December 7, 2016, was set forth in the
Order re: Motion to Dismiss. See (ECF No. 32). Those
facts are not repeated herein, but are incorporated by
reference to the prior Order. Additional relevant facts
occurring after the December 7, 2016 hearing are set forth
January 18, 2017, Defendant pled guilty to two counts of
Second Degree Assault in the Spokane County case and was
sentenced to 63 months incarceration. This came after 12
continuances in the state case.
February 17, 2017, at the Government's request, a Writ of
Habeas Corpus ad Prosequendum was issued in this federal
case. (ECF No. 35). On March 8, 2017, Defendant was
arraigned. (ECF No. 44). On the same day, this court issued a
Scheduling Order setting trial for May 15, 2017. (ECF No.
April 28, 2017, Defendant filed a Motion to Continue (ECF No.
49). On May 5, 2017, the court granted the Motion and set
trial for June 12, 2017. (ECF No. 54).
22, 2017, Defendant filed the Renewed Motion to Dismiss (ECF
No. 55), seeking an evidentiary hearing to allow Defendant
the opportunity to testify “regarding the prejudicial
effects of the delay and to perfect the appellate
record.” (ECF No. 55 at 2). The court allowed Defendant
to testify at the hearing.
right to a speedy trial is as fundamental as any of the
rights secured by the Sixth Amendment.” Kloper v.
State of N.C. , 386 U.S. 213, 223 (1967). However,
“[t]he right to a speedy trial is generically different
from any of the other rights enshrined in the Constitution
for the protection of the accused.” Barker v.
Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 519 (1972). These differences
include: (1) the “societal interest in providing a
speedy trial which exists separate from, and at times in
opposition to, the interests of the accused”; (2)
“deprivation of the right [to a speedy trial] may work
to the accused's advantage”; and (3) “the
right to speedy trial is a more vague concept than other
procedural rights.” (Id. at 519-21).
determine whether a violation of the speedy trial right
occurred, the Supreme Court adopted a balancing test which
courts must use “on an ad hoc basis.”
(Id. at 529-30). Because of the nature of the right,
the Supreme Court “can do little more than identify
some of the factors which courts should assess in determining
whether a particular defendant has been deprived of his
right.” (Id. at 530). Those factors are: (1)
the length of delay; (2) the reason for delay; (3)
defendant's assertion of their speedy trial rights; and
(4) prejudice to the defendant. (Id.). None of these
factors are “either a necessary or sufficient condition
to the finding of a deprivation of the right of speedy
trial” and must be considered “together with such
other circumstances as may be relevant.” (Id.
at 533). The Supreme Court also noted “[t]he amorphous
quality of the right also leads to the unsatisfactorily
severe remedy of dismissal of the indictment when the right
has been deprived. This is indeed a serious consequence
because it means that a defendant who may be guilty of a
serious crime will go free, without having been tried.”
(Id. at 522).
the court previously finding it did not apply to Defendant as
a pretrial detainee, the Government again argued the
Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act's anti-shuttling
provision prohibited the Government from obtaining Defendant
and sending him back to state custody while the state
proceeding was ongoing. The Government's position was not
well founded. The Act applies “[w]henever a person has
entered upon a term of imprisonment in a penal or
correctional institution.” 18 U.S.C. App. 2 § 2,
Art. III(a) (emphasis added). There are legitimate concerns
about the practical impact of shuttling a defendant back and
forth for ongoing proceedings in state and federal court.
However, the Act had no bearing in this matter until the
point in time Defendant was subject to a term of
incarceration on the state charge. Accordingly, the court
rejects any argument by the Government that the Interstate
Agreement on Detainers Act applied or could have applied to
Defendant prior to January 18, 2017, when he was sentenced on
the state charges.
Length of Delay
Ninth Circuit has noted “[a]lthough there is no
bright-line rule, courts generally have found that delays
approaching one year are presumptively prejudicial.”
U.S. v. Gregory, 322 F.3d 1157, 1161-62
(9th Cir. 2003); see Doggett v. U.S., 505
U.S. 647, 652 n.1 (1992) (same). The delay is measured from
“the time of the indictment to the time of
trial.” Gregory, 322 F.3d at 1161-62 (quoting
U.S. v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., Inc., 877 F.2d 734,
739 (9th Cir. 1989)). If a defendant shows the
delay has been long enough to be “presumptively
prejudicial, ” “the court must then consider, as
one factor among several, the extent to which the delay
stretches beyond the bare minimum needed to trigger judicial
examination of the claim.” Doggett, 505 U.S.
at 652. “[N]o showing of prejudice is required when the
delay is great and attributable to the government.”