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United States v. Hopkins

June 18, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LOUIS E. HOPKINS, A/K/A "LOU," DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: David R Herndon Chief Judge United States District Court

MEMORANDUM and ORDER

HERNDON, Chief Judge

I. Introduction and Procedural History

Now before the Court is Hopkins' June 15, 2009 motion to suppress statements (Doc. 73). Specifically, Hopkins moves to suppress statements he allegedly made to law enforcement while being transported to the St. Clair County Jail without additional reading of his Miranda warning and without counsel being present.*fn1 The Government opposes the motion arguing that it is untimely and that the motion is meritless (Doc. 75). Based on the following, the Court denies the motion to suppress statements (Doc. 73).

On November 12, 2008, Hopkins was arraigned and given 21 days (December 3, 2008) to file motions (Doc. 9). That date passed without any filings.

Thereafter, on December 19, 2008, Hopkins' counsel, Assistant Federal Public Defender Todd Schultz, filed a motion as to status of counsel (Doc. 15) which the Court set for hearing on January 5, 2009. On January 5, 2009, the Court held a hearing on the motion for status of counsel; found that Mr. Schultz should remain as counsel for Defendant Hopkins and denied an oral motion to continue the trial set for January 12, 2009 (Doc. 17).*fn2 The next day, the Government moved to continue trial (Doc. 18) and the Court granted the motion to allow the Government to supersede the indictment and continued the trial to January 26, 2009 (Doc. 20).

On January 8, 2009, Hopkins filed a motion for leave to suppress evidence and memorandum in support, over a month late of the deadline (Doc. 21). Also on January 8, 2009, Hopkins filed the motion to suppress and a memorandum in support (Docs. 22 & 23). On January 12, 2009, the Clerk of the Court struck the motion to suppress and the memorandum in support as Hopkins had not obtained leave of the Court to file such (Doc. 25). That same day, the Government filed its opposition to the motion for leave (Doc. 26). On January 12, 2009, the Court denied Hopkins leave to file the motion for leave (Doc. 29).

On January 21, 2009, the grand jury returned a seven-count superseding indictment against Hopkins (Doc. 47).*fn3 The next day, the Court arraigned Hopkins on the charges contained in the superseding indictment (Doc. 52) and granted Hopkins motion to continue trial and continued the jury trial set for January 26, 2009 to February 23, 2009 (Docs. 52 & 54). On February 5, 2009, Hopkins filed a motion to reconsider Defendant's motion for leave (Doc. 56). The next day, the Court granted the motion to reconsider in light of the additional charges contained in the superseding indictment and allowed Hopkins up to and including February 13, 2009 to file a motion to suppress (Doc. 57).

Thereafter on February 11, 2009, the Court granted a motion to withdraw attorney (Doc. 58) and appointed attorney Rodney Holmes to represent Hopkins (Doc. 59). However, on February 16, 2009, attorney Michael F. Jones entered an appearance on behalf of Hopkins as retained counsel (Doc. 60). Thus, the Court entered an Order terminating Mr. Holmes' representation of Hopkins on February 20, 2009 (Doc. 61). On February 20, 2009, Hopkins, through attorney Jones, filed a motion to continue trial and for extension of time to file pretrial motions (Doc. 62). That same day, the Court granted the motion, continued the trial to April 27, 2009 and allowed Hopkins up to and including March 13, 2009 to file pretrial motions (Doc. 63).

On March 13, 2009, attorney Jones filed a motion to withdraw attorney or convert to CJA Panel Appointment (Doc. 64) and a motion for extension of time to file pretrial motions (Doc. 65). On March 26, 2009, the Court held a hearing on the motion to withdraw and granted the motion (Doc. 67).*fn4

The next day, Mr. Holmes was reappointed to represent Hopkins (Doc. 68). Thereafter on April 20, 2009, Hopkins, through Holmes, filed a motion to continue trial (Doc. 71) which the Court granted and continued the trial set for April 27, 2009 to July 6, 2009 (Doc. 72). On June 15, 2009, three weeks before the trial date, Hopkins filed the motion to suppress statements (Doc. 73). The next day, the Court directed the Government to file a response to the motion on or before June 26, 2009 (Doc. 74). On June 17, 2009, the Government filed its response (Doc. 75). The Government contends that the motion is untimely. The Court agrees.

II. Analysis

Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 12(b)(3)(C) requires that motions to suppress evidence be filed before trial. Rule 12(c) allows the Court to set a deadline for the parties to file pretrial motions, including motions to suppress, and permits the Court to set a motion hearing. Under Rule 12(e), however, "A party 'waives any Rule 12(b)(3) defense, objection, or request not raised by the deadline the court sets under Rule 12(c) or by any extension the court sets.' Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e). However, the district court may, for good cause, the court may 'grant relief from the waiver.'"See United States v. Salahuddin, 509 F.3d 858, 860 (7th Cir. 2007)(quoting United States Mancillas, 183 F.3d 682, 703 (7th Cir. 1999)).

Here, the Court set and rest a deadline for pre-trial motions under Rule 12(c), and the defendant failed to meet that deadline. He has thereby waived any Rule 12(b)(3) defenses or objections, unless the Court permits such filing upon a showing of good cause. No such showing has been made in the pending motion to suppress evidence. Defendant himself has been on notice of the police reports and discovery since November 18, 2008 when the Government provided Defendant with the same. Further, his current counsel has also been on notice of the police reports since April 2009. Despite this knowledge ,Defendant failed to timely file the motion to suppress or seek an extension of time to file a motion to suppress to preserve the issue ...


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