United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. Rosenstengel, Chief U.S. District Judge.
matter is before the Court on Defendant Scott A. Kuehn's
Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. 70). Kuehn asks the Court to
reconsider its Order denying his motion to modify the terms
of his supervised release pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §
3583(e)(2) because the motion was premature (Doc. 69).
April 14, 2015, Kuehn pleaded guilty to knowingly
distributing child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 2252A(a)(2)(B), and knowingly possessing child
pornography involving a prepubescent minor under age twelve,
in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B) (Doc. 25).
After concluding that a significant variance from the United
States Sentencing Guidelines was warranted in this case, the
Court sentenced Kuehn to 60 months' imprisonment on both
counts, to run concurrently (Doc. 61). The Court also imposed
a five-year term of supervised release, as well as $2, 000 in
restitution (Id.). Kuehn currently is scheduled to
be released from the Bureau of Prisons on September 27,
October 19, 2018, Kuehn filed a motion requesting
modification of his supervised release conditions pursuant to
18 U.S.C. § 3583 (Doc. 68). The undersigned denied
Kuehn's motion as premature on November 7, 2018, noting
that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recommends district
courts hold a hearing on such motions “on the
eve” of a defendant's release from custody (Doc.
69). Because Kuehn's release date was just shy of two
years away, the Court denied his motion as premature and
instructed him to refile it immediately prior to his release
now asks the Court to reconsider the denial of his motion,
arguing that he is eligible for and will likely receive six
months of time at a halfway house. That would effectively
make his reentry date March 30, 2020. While technically still
under custody of the Bureau of Prisons, he argues, his
presence at a non-secure facility would trigger many of his
conditions of release including therapy, polygraphs, and
registration as a sex offender. In support of his motion,
Kuehn cites United States v. Williams, in which the
Seventh Circuit stated it “would be reluctant to allow
a judge to deem premature a request in the final year or two
of imprisonment.” United States v. Williams,
840 F.3d 865 (7th Cir. 2016).
to reconsider are permitted in criminal cases and may be
filed to allow district courts the opportunity to promptly
correct errors. United States v. Healy, 376 U.S. 75,
77 (1964); United States v. Rollins, 607 F.3d 500,
502 (7th Cir. 2010). “The purpose of such a motion is
to bring the court's attention to newly discovered
evidence or to a manifest error of law or fact.”
Neal v. Newspaper Holdings, Inc., 349 F.3d 363, 368
(7th Cir. 2003). A manifest error of law warranting relief
“is not demonstrated by the disappointment of the
losing party” and instead means “wholesale
disregard, misapplication, or failure to recognize
controlling precedent” by a district court. Oto v.
Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 224 F.3d 601, 606 (7th Cir.
the Court does not find that it committed a manifest error of
law when Kuehn's motion to modify the conditions of his
release was filed just short of two years before his
scheduled release date. The Seventh Circuit has not set a
firm deadline by which a Court must consider a motion to
modify conditions of release, other than to express
reluctance at allowing the district court to deny as
premature a motion filed in the final “year or
two” before release. And, on several occasions, the
Seventh Circuit has approved of a district court's
instruction to the defendant to refile the motion to modify
three months before his release. See, e.g., United States
v. Arojojoye, 749 Fed.Appx. 461, 463 (7th Cir. 2019),
cert. denied, No. 18-8879, 2019 WL 1767023 (U.S. May
28, 2019) (affirming district court's denial of motion
filed two years prior to release as premature and approving
of its instruction to refile the motion three months before
defendant's release date); United States v.
Hayes, 672 Fed.Appx. 589, 591 (7th Cir. 2016) (same).
the Court finds no manifest error of law, Kuehn's Motion
for Reconsideration (Doc. 70) is DENIED.
Kuehn may refile his motion to modify the terms of his
supervised release three months before his release date. At
that point, the Court will evaluate the motion and consider
the need for a hearing with appointed counsel.
IS SO ORDERED.
See Federal Bureau of Prisons
Inmate Locator, https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/ (last visited