United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
E. DOWDELL UNITED SPATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is a Joint Motion to Continue Jury Trial (D
o c . 44). T h e pa r tie s jointly request that the Court
continue the jury trial, which is currently set for August
21, 2017, for approximately thirty (30) days.
6, 2017, an indictment was returned charging defendants with
possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute
pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and
841(b)(1)(A)(viii). Both defendants are released on
conditions pending trial.
for the defendants request that the Court grant a continuance
so that they may have additional time to review discovery and
further explore plea negotiations with the government.
Counsel for Defendant Michael Fleetwood “has only
recently been able to speak to his client regarding this
matter, ” and counsel for Defendant Calvin Fleetwood
was “only recently, on July 20, 2017, [ ] appointed to
represent [him].” (Id.). Counsel for the
government requests a continuance of this matter so that they
may have additional time to file their response to Defendant
Michael Fleetwood's Motion to Suppress (Doc. 39). The
government further represents to the Court that the Oklahoma
Highway Patrolman who took Michael Fleetwood's statement,
Trooper Miller, hurt himself on the job and will not be back
to work for several months. Currently Trooper Miller is on
vacation with his family and will not return until August 14,
2017. Counsel for the government requests a continuance so
that they may speak with Trooper Miller when he returns from
vacation and thereby be able to properly respond to Defendant
Michael Fleetwood's Motion to Suppress.
parties' request for a continuance falls under §
3161(h)(7)(A) of the Speedy Trial Act. This section permits a
federal district court to exclude any period of delay
resulting from a continuance on the “basis of his
findings that the ends of justice served by taking such
action outweigh the best interest of the public and the
defendant in a speedy trial.” 18 U.S.C. §
3161(h)(7)(A). A court must orally or in writing set forth
its reasons for granting an ends of justice continuance and
make findings that a continuance is in the best interest of
the defendant and the public. Id. The statute
permits a court to consider whether “the failure to
grant such a continuance . . . would deny counsel for the
defendant or the attorney for the government the reasonable
time necessary for effective preparation, taking into account
the exercise of due diligence.” Id. at §
of justice continuance should not be granted
“cavalierly, ” and it was intended to be a
“rarely used tool.” United States v.
Williams, 511 F.3d 1044, 1048-49 (10th Cir. 2007)
(citations omitted); see also United States v.
Toombs, 574 F.3d 1262 (10th Cir. 2009). Pursuant to
Toombs, the parties must provide the district court
a sufficient record to determine why the facts require
additional time. See 574 F.3d at 1271. A district
court must also give significant weight to the public's
interest in a speedy trial. Id.at 1273.
parties ask the Court to continue all deadlines in the
present scheduling order for 30 days to allow discovery
review to be completed, for defendants and counsel to review
the discovery, for counsel to conduct investigation and
confer with their clients, to prepare pretrial motions, and
to prepare for trial. The case is currently set for trial on
August 21, 2017, which is not adequate time for the parties
to prepare for trial.
Court finds that the joint request for a 30 day extension of
all deadlines is reasonable and the request for an ends of
justice continuance should be granted. In addition to the
interests of the defendants, the Court has considered the
public's interest in the speedy resolution of criminal
case and finds that a limited ends of justice continuance
will not subvert the public's interest in the prompt
prosecution of criminal matters.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the Joint Motion to
Continue Jury Trial (Doc. 44) is granted and that the
scheduling order entered on June 27, 2017 (Doc. 28) is
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the following scheduling
order be entered:
August 18, 2017
August 25, 2017
September 5, 2017 at 1:30 p.m.
Voir dire, jury instructions, and trial briefs due
September 11, 2017
September 18, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that time between August 21, 2017, and
September 18, 2017 is excludable pursuant ...