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United States v. Dokich

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION


April 16, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MELVIN DOKICH, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Melvin Dokich ("Dokich") has written the attached letter*fn1 to this Court, seeking the appointment of counsel to represent him in two respects. As explained here, that request cannot be granted as Dokich has tendered it.

To begin with, any application for the appointment of counsel under the Criminal Justice Act ("CJA," 18 U.S.C. §3006A) must of course be supported by an appropriate showing of financial eligibility, a requirement that is not met by Dokich's conclusory statement that "I am indigent and cannot afford to hire an attorney." But even if that deficiency were to be cured, Dokich's request would still have to be denied.

That aside, the first paragraph of the Dokich letter--that asking for the appointment of "new counsel regarding possible Rule 35 consideration"--is troublesome in several respects. For one thing, if Dokich is speaking of an effort on his own behalf to seek sentence reduction under Fed. R. Crim. P. ("Rule") 35, this Court would be without jurisdiction to provide such relief. And if instead Dokich is seeking assistance in connection with a possible government-initiated motion under Rule 35(b), further information is needed in that regard (including a showing that such representation is within the scope defined by the CJA).

But perhaps most importantly, attorney Stephen Eberhardt was initially appointed to serve that function about a year ago, and he found Dokich totally uncooperative despite Eberhardt's efforts to be of assistance. That lack of cooperation was the express reason for Eberhardt's application to withdraw from representation, which this Court granted last month. So Dokich owes some further explanation before any further consideration may be given to a renewed appointment.

Finally, as to the second paragraph of Dokich's letter, none of the subparts of 18 U.S.C. §3006A(a)(1) appears to support the provision of counsel for the purposes that Dokich describes. If Dokich wishes such assistance, he should identify the statutory predicate supporting the request.


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