January 15, 2014
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
TAWANA SANDERS, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM and ORDER
DAVID R. HERNDON, Chief District Judge.
Now before the Court is defendant's motion for copies (Doc. 43). Defendant would like copies of her indictment, plea agreement, plea transcript, sentencing transcript and some other documents. Based on the following, the Court denies the motion.
In order to obtain documents free of charge defendant must demonstrate: (1) that he has exhausted all 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 required in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2) which includes a certified copy of the prisoner's 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, Sander's motion is insufficient. First, she has not demonstrated that she has exhausted all means of access to her files. Second, she did not attach her prison trust fund statement. Further, bald allegations that she needs the documents will not do. Moreover, case law indicates that defendant must first file the 2255 action in order to obtain the documents. See United States v. Horvath, 157 F.3d 131, 132-33 (2nd Cir. 1998)(collecting cases). Accordingly, the Court DENIES defendant's motion (Doc. 43).
IT IS SO ORDERED.