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United States v. Reeves

United States District Court, D. Maine

February 4, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
JOSEPH SCOTT REEVES.

ORDER ON MOTION TO POSTPONE PAYMENT

JOHN A. WOODCOCK, Jr., District Judge.

The Court rejects the Defendant's request that his restitution obligation be postponed until he is released from incarceration. The Court concludes that it did not improperly delegate to the Bureau of Prisons the authority to determine the amount and timing of restitution payments. It concludes that there is no evidence that the Defendant properly exhausted his administrative remedies or is in the proper district to challenge the Bureau of Prisons' Inmate Financial Responsibility Program. Finally, it concludes that the Defendant has failed to demonstrate a material change in his economic circumstances to justify a revision of the restitution provisions of the criminal judgment.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Crime and Punishment

On Wednesday, September 25, 2002, Dean Cray left his residence on Route 151 in Palmyra, Maine at about 1:15 p.m. and when he returned at about 2:10 p.m., he discovered that his residence had been burglarized and that firearms and money had been stolen. Prosecution Version and Factual Basis (ECF No. 6). The burglars included Joseph Scott Reeves. Id. at 1. Mr. Reeves and his companions stole six firearms from Mr. Cray's residence: (1) a Herbert Schmidt.22. caliber revolver, (2) a Remington 12 gauge pump shotgun, (3) an Ithaca Featherweight 12 gauge pump shotgun, (4) a Savage.22 magnum caliber bolt action rifle, (5) a 12 gauge pump shotgun, possibly made by Stevens Manufacturing, and (6) a Ruger.22 caliber semiautomatic pistol. Id. at 1-2.

Two nights later, Mr. Reeves was a passenger in a car in Milford, Maine and he asked the driver to park the car. Id. at 4. After she did so, he and Neal Ray Colby got out and ran up the road. Id. at 4. When Mr. Reeves and Mr. Colby returned to the car, they looked at each other, said "220", and told the driver to get out of there. Id. That next day, Mr. Reeves and Mr. Colby told the driver that they had gotten $220 from the clerk inside an Exxon station and the clerk was scared. Id. at 5. The clerk at the Exxon gas station store said that he was behind the counter when two white males entered the store carrying a pump shotgun and a long semi-automatic handgun. Id. at 6. They demanded money and ultimately the employee told them there was $220 in a money bag. Id. at 6-7.

Mr. Reeves had previously been convicted of two felonies: (1) obstruction of a corrections officer in federal court in New York, and (2) possession of a short-barreled shotgun in federal court in Maine. Id. at 11-12; see Presentence Order at 1-2 (ECF No. 26).

On June 15, 2005, Mr. Reeves pleaded guilty to a three-count information: (1) Count One, being a felon in possession of a firearm; (2) Count Two, engaging in a Hobbs Act Robbery; and (3) Count Three, use of a firearm during a federal crime of violence. Information (ECF No. 3); Minute Entry (ECF No. 7). On July 20, 2006, the Court sentenced Mr. Reeves to 120 months on Count One and 178 months on Count Two to run concurrently, and 84 months on Count Three to run consecutively to Count Two. J. at 2 (ECF No. 29). The Court also required Mr. Reeves to pay restitution in the total amount of $1, 633.00, a special assessment of $300.00 and a fine of $1, 000.00. Id. at 5.

The restitution judgment reflected the losses to the victims from the two incidents: (1) $1, 413.00 to Dean and Darlene Cray and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company; and (2) $220.00 to Francis and Heidi Carlow. Id. The $220.00 order of restitution was made joint and several with Neal Ray Colby, who was charged with the gas station robbery and who pleaded guilty, and at whose sentencing was also ordered to pay the $220.00 restitution to Mr. and Ms. Carlow. J. (Docket No. CR-02-93-B-W-002) (ECF No. 113).

B. Joseph Scott Reeves Requests Restitution Payment Postponement

On December 10, 2014, the Court received a letter from Mr. Reeves, informing the Court that he was "currently facing a stressful issue." Letter from Joseph Reeves to Judge Woodcock (ECF No. 33) ( Reeves Letter ). He explained:

I am being asked to make an FRP payment, and I get very little support from my family. The mere funds they send me are to be used to keep my family's communication. They are not the ones responsible for my fines. I need to stay connected to my family so I have someone there for me upon my release (in 10 years!). Because I am unable to pay the FRP, this institution has put me on restriction.
I am asking that you help me by postponing my payments until I have the ability to earn, while I start my supervised release term, as it is usually requested in court. Please send the appropriate letter to the proper institution.
Only my federal sentencing judge has the ability to postpone it. I don't have a lawyer, as I don't have the means to retain one for this ...

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