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United States v. Reedy

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division

September 1, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
REGAN DWAYNE REEDY and SUSAN ANNETTE REEDY, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          GLEN E. CONRAD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         On August 30, 2017, the parties appeared before the court for a hearing on various motions filed by the government and the defendants. This memorandum opinion sets forth the court's rulings on the pending motions.

         Background

         On March 16, 2017, Regan and Susan Reedy were charged in an eleven-count indictment returned by a grand jury in the Western District of Virginia. Count One charges Mr. Reedy with conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. Counts Two through Eleven charge the defendants with bankruptcy fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 152(1) & (3).

         On April 10, 2017, the defendants were brought before a magistrate judge for their initial appearances, and counsel was appointed to represent them. The following day, both defendants were released on bond. A jury trial was scheduled to begin on June 20, 2017.

         On May 25, 2017, the court held an attorney status hearing at which both defendants waived the right to counsel and elected to proceed pro se. The court severed their cases for trial and rescheduled the jury trials for August 7, 2017 and August 14, 2017, respectively. Both defendants executed written waivers of their right to a speedy trial and expressly consented to having their trials continued from the original date.

         On June 4, 2017, Mr. Reedy was arrested and charged in state court with forgery and providing false information to a law enforcement officer. The following day, the United States Probation Office petitioned for the issuance of an arrest warrant and the revocation of Mr. Reedy's bond. An arrest warrant was issued on June 6, 2017 and lodged as a detainer with the state authorities. Mr. Reedy remains in state custody.

         On August 3, 2017, the parties appeared before the court for a hearing on motions filed by the government. The following day, the court entered an order directing the government to provide Mr. Reedy access to its written discovery materials in hard copy form, and to make arrangements for him to listen to and/or view any relevant audio or video recordings. Additionally, in order to allow the pro se defendants additional time to review discovery and prepare for trial, the court continued Mr. Reedy's jury trial to September 13, 2017, and Mrs. Reedy's jury trial to September 28, 2017. Given the defendants' failure to initiate timely discovery requests and their expressed desire to reschedule their trial until such time as they could make more complete preparations, the court deemed the intervening periods excludable under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 3161-3174. Specifically, the court found that the ends of justice served by granting a continuance outweighed the best interest of the public and the defendants in a speedy trial. See 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A). The court indicated that its finding was based on the determination that the failure to continue the defendants' trials would deny them the reasonable time necessary to effectively prepare, taking into account the exercise of due diligence. See id § 3161(h)(7)(A)(iv).

         On August 7, 2017, Special Agent Ross Pierson delivered a box containing written discovery materials and seven discs to the Western Virginia Regional Jail, where Mr. Reedy is currently incarcerated. Mr. Reedy refused to sign the form acknowledging receipt of the materials. On August 8, 2017, after the jail expressed a preference for providing inmates access to discovery via electronic means, Special Agent Pierson delivered eight discs containing the discovery applicable to Mr. Reedy's case. Mr. Reedy once again refused to sign the form acknowledging receipt of the materials. Likewise, on August 18, 2017, Mr. Reedy refused to sign the form acknowledging receipt of an additional disc.

         On August 11, 2017, the government moved to modify the court's previous order regarding discovery in Mr. Reedy's case. The government then moved for a ruling on several requests for discovery by Mrs. Reedy. In the meantime, the defendants filed various submissions challenging the court's jurisdiction. The court held a hearing on all of the pending motions on August 30, 2017. During the hearing, the defendants made additional oral motions.

         Discussion

         I. Government's motions

         A. Motion to modify the August 4, 2017 order

         The government moved to modify the provision of the August 4, 2017 order pertaining to Mr. Reedy's access to discovery. For the reasons stated during the hearing, the court finds that the government has satisfied its current discovery obligations in Mr. Reedy's case. Accordingly, the court will grant the government's motion. It is understood, however, that the court is willing to have Mr. Reedy transported to the federal courthouse to review the discovery in his case, including ...


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