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United States v. Ocean

United States District Court, D. Maine

December 18, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
AKEEN OCEAN

ORDER ON PENDING MOTIONS

JOHN A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Faced with a motion to suppress evidence that was filed after the deadline for the filing of pretrial motions and with a motion that failed to comply with a local rule requirement of accompanying affidavits for motions, the Court concludes that the Defendant has demonstrated good cause for his late filing and that the affidavit requirement must bend to the defendant’s Fifth Amendment rights. The Court grants the Defendant’s motion to reset the motion deadline and denies the Government’s efforts to strike the late-filed motion.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Procedural Background for the Motions

On February 12, 2015, a federal grand jury indicted Akeen Ocean along with ten others, charging them with engaging in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine base. Indictment (ECF No. 3). On September 9, 2015, Mr. Ocean moved to suppress evidence, the recovery of which he contended violated the United States and state of Maine constitutions. Def.’s Mot. to Suppress Statements Obtained in Violation of Def.’s Const. Rights (ECF No. 275) (Def.’s Mot.). On September 9, 2015, Mr. Ocean also moved to extend the time for filing pretrial motions. Def.’s Mot. to Re-Open Pretrial Mots. Deadline (ECF No. 273) (Def.’s Mot. to Re-Open).

On September 10, 2015, the Government moved to strike Mr. Ocean’s motion to suppress as untimely and failing to comply with Local Rule 147(a). Gov’t’s Mot. to Strike Def.’s Mot. to Suppress (ECF No. 276) (Gov’t’s Mot. to Strike). On September 10, 2015, the Government also objected to the Defendant’s late filing and motion to reopen the pretrial motions deadline. Gov’t’s Objection to Reopen Pretrial Mots. Deadline (ECF No. 277) (Gov’t’s Opp’n to Reopening).

On September 14, 2015, Mr. Ocean filed an amended motion, asking the Court to reset the pretrial motions deadline, Am. Def.’s Mot. to Re-Set Pretrial Mots. Deadline (ECF No. 280) (Def.’s Am. Extension Mot.), and an amended motion to suppress. Am. Def.’s Mot. to Suppress Statements Obtained in Violation of Def.’s Constitutional Rights (ECF No. 281) (Def.’s Am. Suppression Mot.). On September 17, 2015, the Government objected to Mr. Ocean’s motion to reopen the pretrial motions deadline. Gov’t’s Objection to Reopen Pretrial Mots. Deadline (ECF No. 283) (Gov’t’s Second Opp’n). On September 28, 2015, the Government moved to strike Mr. Ocean’s amended motion to suppress. Gov’t’s Mot. to Strike Def.’s Am. Mot. to Suppress (ECF No. 288) (Gov’t’s Second Mot. to Strike).

On October 14, 2015, Mr. Ocean responded to the Government’s objection to the resetting of the pretrial motions deadline. Resp. to Gov’t’s Objection to Re-Set Pretrial Mots. Deadline (ECF No. 310) (Def.’s Reply to Gov’t’s Second Opp’n). On October 15, 2015, Mr. Ocean responded to the Government’s motion to strike his motion to suppress. Reply to Gov’t’s Mot. to Strike Def.’s Mot. to Suppress (ECF No. 312) (Def.’s Reply to Gov’t’s Mot. to Strike).

B. Procedural Background for the Case

Following Mr. Ocean’s February 12, 2015 indictment, Mr. Ocean was arrested on February 19, 2015 and the Government filed a motion for detention. Mot. for Detention (ECF No. 55). The Court appointed Attorney Ronald Bourget to represent Mr. Ocean on February 20, 2015, and Mr. Ocean had his initial appearance and was arraigned the same day. Min. Entry (ECF No. 74). Mr. Ocean was detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for February 26, 2015. Id.

On February 20, 2015, the Court issued a procedural order, setting March 6, 2015 as the deadline for Mr. Ocean to file all pretrial motions, and set twenty-one days after the filing of the Defendant’s motions as the deadline for the Government’s response. Procedural Order at 1 (ECF No. 76). The Court set April 7, 2015 as the trial date. Id. at 1. The Court ordered Mr. Ocean temporarily detained on February 20, 2015. Order of Temp. Detention (ECF No. 89).

The Magistrate Judge held a detention hearing on February 26, 2015 and ordered Mr. Ocean detained pending trial. Order of Detention Pending Trial (ECF No. 126). On March 3, 2015, the Court issued a speedy trial order, extending the motion deadline to May 5, 2015 and setting trial for June 2, 2015. Speedy Trial Order (ECF No. 136). Then on May 11, 2015, the Court issued another speedy trial order, extending the motion deadline to July 6, 2015 and setting a new trial date of August 4, 2015. Second Speedy Trial Order (ECF No. 183). On July 16, 2015, the Court reset trial for September 1, 2015 and on July 23, 2015, the Court terminated the September trial list deadlines. Trial List (ECF No. 236).

II. THE PARTIES’ POSITIONS


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