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United States v. Phillips

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

June 11, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
CHERRON PHILLIPS, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM ORDER

MILTON I. SHADUR, Senior District Judge.

Last Friday afternoon (June 7) this Court's courtroom deputy delivered to this Court a copy of the e-mail directed to her that day from Pretrial Services Officer Christopher Lonis. Not to put too fine a point on it, the reported representation by defendant Cherron Phillips ("Phillips") was totally false-she said nothing whatever about her child's academic awards ceremony or about her requested attendance at that ceremony during the previously-set brief status hearing that was held that morning for a totally different purpose.

This memorandum order is not intended to suggest that this Court would have denied such a request if it had been made. Instead Phillips has simply provided another instance-and a particularly egregious one, since it involves a blatant falsehood-of her apparent belief that she can conduct herself in this criminal proceeding in accordance with rules of her own (or perhaps no rules at all).

Because the purpose of the June 7 status hearing was to determine whether the parties had arrived at some predicate for resolution of this case, and because their joint report was negative in that respect, this Court set defendant Phillips' trial to begin at 9:30 a.m. July 29, 2013. Because defendant Phillips wishes to exercise her constitutional right to represent herself in the criminal trial (see Faretta v. California , 422 U.S. 806 (1975)), and because her expressed reluctance to accept the assistance of standby counsel will no doubt give her more than enough to do in preparation for trial, [1] no useful purpose would be served by a digression now into the possible consequences of Phillips' distressing conduct. Instead any possible action by this Court will be deferred until after completion of the trial.


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