United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR BAIL
A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Court denies an incarcerated defendant's request for bail
pending resolution of her motion for reduction of sentence.
The Court does not have the legal authority to release her
because her sentence has long since been imposed and her
appeal has long since been decided.
February 29, 2012, a federal grand jury issued a multi-count
indictment against Carole Swan, charging her with-among other
things-Hobbs Act extortion, tax fraud and false statements,
and false statements to obtain federal workers'
compensation benefits. Indictment (ECF No. 1). On
March 28, 2013, a federal grand jury issued a superseding
indictment against her. Superseding Indictment (ECF
No. 112). On July 26, 2013, a federal jury found Ms. Swan
guilty of five counts of making false statements on her
federal income tax returns and guilty of two counts of making
false statements to obtain federal workers' compensation
benefits. Jury Verdict Form (ECF No. 167). On
September 17, 2013, a second federal jury found Ms. Swan
guilty of three counts of Hobbs Act extortion. Jury
Verdict Form (ECF No. 273). On June 17, 2014, the Court
sentenced Ms. Swan to 87 months imprisonment on the Hobbs Act
extortion counts, 36 months imprisonment on the tax counts,
and 60 months imprisonment on the workers' compensation
counts, all to be served concurrently. J. (ECF No.
20, 2014, Ms. Swan filed a notice of appeal to the United
States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Notice of
Appeal (ECF No. 360). On appeal, Ms. Swan raised a
single issue: whether suppression of her interview with two
sheriff's deputies was required. United States v.
Swan, 842 F.3d 28, 29 (1st Cir. 2016). On November 21,
2016, the First Circuit affirmed Ms. Swan's convictions.
Id. at 34. She did not challenge her sentence.
April 20, 2017, Ms. Swan, acting pro se, filed two motions
with the Court.Mot. for Bail (ECF No. 444)
(Swan Bail Mot.); Mot. for Reduction in
Accordance to 18 U.S.C. [§] 3582 (ECF No.
445). On May 5, 2017, the Government responded.
Gov't's Resp. in Opp'n to Def.'s 18
U.S.C. § 3582 Mot. and for Bail (ECF No. 450).
On May 18, 2017, Ms. Swan filed a reply. Pet'r's
Rebuttal of Gov't's Opp'n of Bail Pending Final
Disposition and the Lawful Correction of Sentencing (ECF
No. 451). On June 23, 2017, Ms. Swan filed a motion
requesting a status update on her motion for bail. Req.
for Status of Mot. for Bail Pending Final Disposition of
18 U.S.C. [§] 3582 Decision Rendered (ECF No.
Ms. Swan is understandably anxious to obtain an order
releasing her from incarceration while her motion for
reduction of sentence is being resolved, the brief answer is
that the Court does not have the authority to release her.
The Bail Reform Act does not allow a sentencing court to
release a defendant once a sentence has been imposed and once
any appeal has been resolved. See 18 U.S.C.
§§ 3141 et seq. (release pending trial,
sentence, and appeal).
this clear bar, Ms. Swan contends that the Court is
authorized to release her on bail while her motion for a
reduction in her sentence is pending. Swan Bail Mot.
at 1. To this end, she cites 18 U.S.C. § 3143. But by
its terms, § 3143 applies to release only pending the
imposition of sentence, § 3143(a), or pending appeal,
§ 3143(b). The Court sentenced Ms. Swan on June 17, 2014
and the Court of Appeals resolved her appeal on November 21,
2016. Therefore, § 3143 does not apply to Ms. Swan or
authorize the Court to grant her bail at this time.
Swan also cites Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 9 as
authority for her request for bail. However, Federal Rule of
Appellate Procedure 9 authorizes a district court or a court
of appeals to release a defendant pending an appeal, not
after the appeal has been resolved. Fed. R. App. P. 9.
Ms. Swan cites Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 27 as
authority for her request for bail. Federal Rule of Appellate
Procedure 27 is merely a general rule about the proper
procedure for filing motions for relief while a case is
pending on appeal. Fed. R. App. P. 27. This rule does not
authorize this Court to order Ms. Swan's release from
incarceration at this time.
short, Ms. Swan cites no authority for the proposition that
while a motion to reduce a final sentence is pending, the
sentencing judge is authorized to release an incarcerated
defendant on bail. Furthermore, the Court is unaware of any
authority that would allow it to grant Ms. Swan the relief
she is now requesting and release her on bail. Accordingly,
the Court must deny Ms. Swan's motion for bail.