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United States v. Brazel

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

November 13, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
RYAN BRAZEL, Defendant.

ORDER

DAVID R. HERNDON, Chief District Judge.

Pending before the Court is a letter from defendant, which the Court construes as a motion seeking copies of transcripts (Doc. 158). Specifically, defendant requests his sentencing transcripts. He claims that he needs them because he is concerned that the Bureau of Prisons is not crediting him for his time served prior to sentencing. Based on the following, the Court denies the motion.

The Court finds that he is not entitled to the sentencing transcripts. As to the transcripts that have been prepared, the Court will not provide those free of charge unless defendant can make some further showing. See Rush v. United States, 559 F.2d 455 (7th Cir. 1977)((holding that prisoners without counsel have a right to reasonable access to existing files in their underlying case prior to filing of petition collaterally attacking their sentence). Before providing copies free of charge, a district court may require the requester to show: (1) that he has exhausted all other means of access to his files ( i.e., through his trial and appellate counsel), (2) that he is financially unable to secure access to his court files ( i.e., through a showing similar to that required in 28 U.S.C. ยง 1915(a)(2) which includes a certified copy of the prisoner's trust account for the previous six-month period prior to filing), and (3) that the documents requested are necessary for the preparation of some specific non-frivolous court action. See United States v. Wilkinson, 618 F.2d 1215, 1218-19 (7th Cir. 1980); Rush v. United States, 559 F.2d 455, 459 (7th Cir. 1977). These minimal requirements do not impose any substantial burden to financially unable prisoners who desire their records be sent to them at government expense.

Here, defendant=s motion clearly is insufficient. He has not demonstrated that he has exhausted all other means of access to his file nor has he demonstrated that he is financially unable to secure access to his files. Further, defendant fails to demonstrate that he needs the transcripts for a non-frivolous action. Thus, he is not eligible for the prepared transcripts.

Accordingly, the Court DENIES defendant=s motion seeking copies of sentencing transcripts (Doc. 158).

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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