United States District Court, D. Colorado
A. BRIMMER United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on defendant's Motion to
Complete the Record Part 1 of 2 [Docket No. 199] and
defendant's Combined Motion to Dismiss with Prejudice for
the Incurable Prejudice Suffered from Being Denied any
Adequate Resources to Defend and Assert a Brady and
Due-Process Violation Therefrom [Docket No. 205]. In light of
defendant's pro se status, the Court will construe
defendant's motions liberally, but will not advocate for
him. See Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th
MOTION TO COMPLETE THE RECORD
requests the Court accept as filed certain materials that he
claims support a finding of prejudice in relation to his
argument that his constitutional right to a speedy trial was
violated. Docket No. 199 at 2. To the extent these documents
bear any relation to defendant's speedy trial arguments,
the Court has already ruled on those issues and denied
reconsideration of those issues. Docket Nos. 60,
Thus, the documents' submission is untimely. Nonetheless,
the Court will grant defendant's motion and allow the
documents attached to the motion to be included in the
COMBINED MOTION TO DISMISS
makes two arguments in his combined motion: (1) that he has
been denied the right to present a complete defense because
of his limited access to the law library and his discovery
materials, Docket No. 205 at 2, and (2) that a spreadsheet
attached to the government's restitution motion was not
disclosed in discovery in violation of Brady v.
Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). Docket No. 205 at 3.
Law Library Access
has twice moved for an order mandating unrestricted access to
the law library where he is housed. Docket Nos. 156, 188. On
September 14, 2017, after defendant pled guilty to six counts
in the superseding indictment, the Court denied the first
such motion as moot along with defendant's other pending
pretrial motions. Docket No. 176 at 2-3. The Court denied the
second such motion on December 4, 2017. Docket No. 192.
According to the government, defendant had been confined to
the Special Housing Unit, but was nonetheless granted access
to the law library December 2 and 3, 2017. Id. at 1.
motion is dated December 5, 2017. Docket No. 205 at 4. The
sentencing hearing took place on December 8, 2017. Docket No.
200. At the hearing, the Court asked defendant if he was
prepared to proceed and defendant indicated that he was
prepared. Defendant did not indicate that he had filed a
third motion regarding his access to legal materials. On
December 12, 2017, defendant's motion was received by the
clerk's office. Docket No. 205 at 1.
argues that he is being denied a “meaningful
opportunity to present a complete defense” due to his
inability to access the law library and the denial of some of
his advisory counsel's requests to visit defendant.
Docket No. 205 at 2 (citing Crane v. Kentucky, 476
U.S. 683 (1986)). Defendant claims that he “has been
circumvented [sic] from being able to review his Discovery
and had no access to a law library.” Id.
prisoners “have a right to adequate, effective and
meaningful access to the courts, access to a law library is
only one of many constitutionally acceptable methods used to
assure meaningful access to the courts.” United
States v. Taylor, 183 F.3d 1199, 1204 (10th Cir. 1999)
(citing Love v. Summit County, 776 F.2d 908, 912-13
(10th Cir. 1985); see also Milton v. Morris, 767
F.2d 1443, 1448 (9th Cir. 1985). “It is well
established that provision of legal counsel is a
constitutionally acceptable alternative to a prisoner's
demand to access a law library.” United States v.
Cooper, 375 F.3d 1041, 1051-52 (10th Cir. 2004) (citing
Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 350-51 (1996));
see also id. at 1051 (“[Prisoners] must be
provided with ‘adequate law libraries or adequate
assistance from persons trained in the law.'”
(quoting Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817, 828 (1977)).
“When a prisoner voluntarily, knowingly and
intelligently waives his right to counsel in a criminal
proceeding, he is not entitled to access to a law library or
other legal materials.” Id. at 1052 (citing
Taylor, 183 F.3d at 1205). In Taylor, the
Tenth Circuit held that denying a prisoner proceeding pro se
access to a law library and legal materials did not violate
the prisoner's right to meaningful access to the courts
because the prisoner was provided with standby counsel to
assist his self-representation. Taylor, 183 F.3d at
Court appointed advisory counsel for defendant, and he admits
that he was able to meet with his advisory counsel prior to
filing his combined motion, which was also prior to
sentencing. Docket No. 205 at 2. Additionally, the only
prejudice that defendant specifically identifies is that he
was unable to receive certain phone records so that he could
file them as part of a second motion to complete the record
in relation to his speedy trial prejudice claims.
Id. However, defendant successfully submitted
the phone records and related exhibits at the sentencing
hearing. Docket No. 200 at 1; Docket Nos. 201, 202. Hence,
defendant was not prejudiced by his inability to file a
written motion. Moreover, defendant admitted at his
sentencing hearing that he was prepared to proceed and did
not make any motions or indicate that he sought to file any
motions. Accordingly, the Court finds that defendant has not
shown that his constitutional rights were violated by the
claimed limitations on his access to the law library.
Disclosure of Spreadsheet
claims that the government's failure to disclose a
spreadsheet listing transactions, Docket No. 184-2, that was
part of the government's investigation was a
Brady violation. Docket No. 205 at 3. The
spreadsheet, as explained by Postal Inspector Eric Manuel at
the sentencing hearing, lists a number of fraudulent
transactions reported by various companies. Defendant argues
that the spreadsheet is exculpatory because it includes
transactions that occurred while he was imprisoned and,
therefore, supports his clam that a “majority” of
the listed transactions were carried out by others.
Id. at 3. Defendant does not claim, however, that
any of the charges to which he pled guilty are based on
fraudulent transactions that occurred while he was
imprisoned. Inspector Manuel testified ...