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United States v. Shaw

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington

January 25, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
DARMON VONTA SHAW, Defendant.

          RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

          Robert E. Wier United States Magistrate Judge.

         On November 6, 2017, the Court conducted a hearing concerning Defendant Darmon Shaw's pretrial detention or release status. The case comes to the undersigned in an unusual procedural posture. Law enforcement arrested Shaw on the Indictment warrant in the Eastern District of Michigan. United States Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen, of the arresting District, conducted a detention hearing and determined to release Shaw pending trial. DE #105-5 (Order Setting Conditions of Release).

         The United States sought a stay of the release order (as well as revocation of Magistrate Judge Whalen's release order) in this District (the charging District). DE #102 (Motion). Chief Judge Caldwell granted a stay, remanding Shaw “to the custody of the United States Marshal until a hearing can be held to address the Motion for revocation of the Release Order.” DE #103 (Order). The USMS thus transported Shaw in custody to this District. The undersigned arraigned Shaw on October 23, 2017. DE #115. Defendant later, by counsel, moved “to lift the stay of the Release Order.” DE #123 (Motion). The Chief Judge thus scheduled a detention hearing, DE ##124 & 125 (Orders), which the undersigned ultimately conducted upon Judge Caldwell's request and referral. The Court first discusses the procedural posture of the case, as well as the limitations on the undersigned's authority in this distinct scenario, before turning to a plenary Bail Reform Act (BRA) analysis to inform the recommendation to the Chief Judge.

         Procedural Analysis

         In this procedural posture-where a magistrate judge in the arresting District ordered Defendant released pretrial, and the presiding district judge in the charging District stayed that release order-the undersigned, as a magistrate judge in the charging District, lacks authority to directly alter Defendant's custodial status or make a controlling determination of that status. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. § 3145(a)(1); United States v. Cisneros, 328 F.3d 610, 615-16 (10th Cir. 2003); United States v. Hassanshahi, 989 F.Supp.2d 110, 113 (D.D.C. 2013) (endorsing the Tenth Circuit's “holding that only a district judge in the charging district, and not a magistrate judge in that district, may review the release order of a magistrate judge in the arresting district”); United States v. Cannon, 711 F.Supp.2d 602, 608 n.5 (E.D. Va. 2010) (“not[ing] that it is unclear whether a magistrate judge in the charging district can review even the decision of another magistrate judge in the arresting district”); United States v. Johnson, 858 F.Supp. 119, 122 (N.D. Ind. 1994) (“Section 3145(a) authorizes a district judge to review a decision made by a magistrate judge, but it does not confer the same authority upon a magistrate judge in the charging district when the challenged order was issued by a magistrate judge in the arresting district.”); United States v. Patterson, No. 13-137, 2013 WL 5375438, at *3 (E.D. La. Sept. 24, 2013) (thoroughly discussing the cases and issues).

         The Tenth Circuit's discussion on this topic is persuasive and worthy of extended quotation:

Although the government properly filed its revocation motion in the New Mexico district court [the charging District], the review of the Arizona release order [from the arresting District] was conducted in the first instance by Magistrate Judge Svet. Only after [Magistrate] Judge Svet entered his detention order, and Cisneros appealed it, did District Judge Armijo consider the government's motion. This is improper procedure for processing a § 3145(a) motion. The motion should be considered and ruled upon in the first instance by a district judge in the court of original jurisdiction. . . .
The text of § 3145(a) supports the conclusion that a motion to revoke a magistrate judge's release order should be ruled on directly by a district judge. We agree with the reasoning of a district court from another circuit that explained:
It is clear from the wording of Section 3145(a) that ‘a court having original jurisdiction over the offense' must be interpreted as the district judge assigned to the case . . . [T]hat section suggests a hierarchy for reviewing a magistrate's decision. In other words, Section 3145(a) authorizes a district judge to review a decision made by a magistrate judge, but it does not confer the same authority upon a magistrate judge in the charging district when the challenged order was issued by a magistrate judge in the arresting district.
United States v. Johnson, 858 F.Supp. 119, 122 (N.D. Ind. 1994). The hierarchy suggested by § 3145(a) is consistent with the ultimate decision-making power and continuing jurisdiction over the actions of magistrate judges that district court judges possess. . . . As we read § 3145(a), therefore, [Magistrate] Judge Svet had no authority to rule on the government's motion to revoke the Arizona magistrate judge's release order.

Cisneros, 328 F.3d at 615-16.

         However, although the undersigned, per § 3145 and this harmonious case law, has “no authority to rule on” the Government's motion to revoke Magistrate Judge Whalen's release order, “there appears to be absolutely no reason why the district judge conducting the review cannot initially refer the review to a magistrate judge in h[er] own district on a report and recommendation basis.” United States v. Ross, No. 1:05-CR-160, 2007 WL 1295995, at *2 (W.D. Mich. Apr. 6, 2007). Magistrate Judge Brenneman continued:

The statute does not prohibit [this practice], and addressing the issue of detention is hardly foreign territory to a magistrate judge since it is one of a magistrate judge's core responsibilities. Moreover, a report and recommendation provides the district judge with the same opportunity to conduct a de novo review that would occur if the district judge handled the review personally in the first instance. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

Id.; see also United States v. Maragiaga, No. 1:06-CR-278-JEC-GGB, 2010 WL 2950338, at *1-2 (N.D.Ga. June 28, 2010) (in bond violation context, recognizing that a magistrate judge “may not be empowered to enter a final order revoking the defendant's release” because the defendant “was released pursuant to an order of a United States Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of Texas, ” and following Ross to recommend revocation to the district judge). The Court agrees with Ross and Maragiaga insofar as it sees nothing in the BRA that precludes Judge Caldwell, in her discretion, from referring the dual motions (the Government's motion to revoke and Shaw's motion to lift the ...


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