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United States v. Islam

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

August 2, 2019

United States of America, Appellee
v.
Mir Islam, Appellant

          Argued November 19, 2018

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (No. 1:15-cr-00067-1)

          Jonathan Zucker, appointed by the court, argued the cause and filed the briefs for appellant.

          Peter S. Smith, Assistant U.S. Attorney, argued the cause for appellee. With him on the brief were Jessie K. Liu, U.S. Attorney, and Elizabeth Trosman, John P. Mannarino, and Jonathan P. Hooks, Assistant U.S. Attorneys.

          Before: Katsas, Circuit Judge, and Silberman and Williams, Senior Circuit Judges.

          OPINION

          KATSAS, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         This appeal addresses the legal consequences of a criminal defendant's failure to object to a magistrate judge's adverse report and recommendation. We also consider claims that defense counsel provided ineffective assistance during proceedings to revoke a term of supervised release.

         I

         Mir Islam received two federal sentences for various offenses. In the Southern District of New York, Islam pleaded guilty to crimes involving credit-card fraud, identity theft, and computer hacking. An SDNY judge sentenced him to one day of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. In the District of Columbia, Islam pleaded guilty to crimes involving the theft and online publication of personal information, conveying false information about the use of explosives, and cyber-stalking. A DDC judge sentenced him to two years of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. The respective terms of supervised release were subject to substantially similar conditions.

         After Islam served both prison sentences, he began concurrently serving the terms of supervised release. Because Islam was living in New York, the SDNY probation office conducted supervision for both courts.

         On January 18, 2017, Islam was arrested in New York for violating the conditions of his supervised release. On January 19, the SDNY probation office filed with the SDNY a petition to revoke the supervised release. On April 11, the SDNY judge revoked Islam's original term of supervised release and imposed two years of imprisonment followed by one year of supervised release subject to the same conditions previously imposed. She recommended that the imprisonment and supervised release run concurrently with any further punishment that the DDC judge might impose. With credit for time served, Islam was released from SDNY custody on August 17, 2017.

         In the meantime, the DDC probation office filed its own petition to revoke with the DDC. On February 1, 2017, the DDC judge issued a warrant for Islam's arrest, which was lodged as a detainer to be executed upon Islam's release from SDNY custody. On August 14, Islam moved to dismiss the detainer and to transfer the DDC case to the SDNY. On the same day, the DDC judge denied the motion in a minute order. Upon his release from SDNY custody, Islam was held under the detainer and then transferred to the District of Columbia. On September 6, Islam arrived in the District, was arrested under the warrant, and appeared before a magistrate judge assigned to his case.

         The magistrate judge scheduled a revocation hearing for September 15, but Islam sought and received two continuances. On October 27, Islam moved to dismiss the petition for revocation. Among other things, he argued that the delay between his arrest in New York and revocation proceedings in the DDC violated both the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment and Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32.1(a)(1). Islam also sought to transfer the matter to the SDNY. On November 8, the magistrate judge held a hearing on these issues.

         On December 4, the magistrate judge issued a thirty-page report and recommendation rejecting Islam's various arguments. The magistrate judge proposed finding that Islam had engaged in unauthorized travel, failed to identify computers and other electronic devices to which he had access, failed to allow monitoring of those devices, failed to attend mental-health counseling, and failed to provide requested financial information-all in violation of his supervised-release conditions. The magistrate judge recommended that the district court impose four months of imprisonment. She recommended no further supervision because the SDNY probation office would be supervising compliance with the conditions imposed in the SDNY, which were "nearly identical" to those imposed in the DDC. App. 98. The report and recommendation stated that "any party who objects to the proposed findings or recommendations herein must file written objections within fourteen days" of service. App. 99. It further ...


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