United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO STAY
A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Court denies a defendant's motion to stay its order
mandating that he make restitution payments beyond the
victim's insurance deductible directly to the insurer of
the victim of the defendant's pharmacy robbery that paid
for the losses the pharmacy incurred as a result of the
defendant's crime, while he appeals the Court's
denial of his later-filed motion for writ of audita querela,
belatedly attempting to challenge the restitution order.
October 30, 2014, James Stile pleaded guilty to robbery of
controlled substances from a DEA registered pharmacy, a
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2118(a). Min. Entry
(ECF No. 541). On May 29, 2015, the Court sentenced Mr. Stile
to 120 months incarceration, $13, 306.93 in restitution, a
$100.00 special assessment, and five years of supervised
release. J. (ECF No. 579). On November 20, 2017, the
Court ordered that the judgment be amended to require that
Mr. Stile pay the full restitution in the total amount of
$13, 306.93, with $1, 000.02 payable to E.W. Moore & Son
Pharmacy as a first priority and then $12, 306.91 payable to
Hanover Insurance Company as a second priority upon
completion of the $1, 000.02 payment, with a full credit for
any restitution payments previously made. Order on Mot.
for Sentencing Court to Set Restitution Amount at 23
(ECF No. 676) (Restitution Order). On November 28,
2017, the Court issued an amended judgment in accordance with
its November 20, 2017 order. Am. J. (ECF No. 678).
Stile strongly dislikes the Court's order requiring him
to pay restitution to Hanover Insurance Company, the
insurance company for the pharmacy he robbed. Although he
failed to appeal the order, he has persistently attacked it
collaterally. Mot. Pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P.
32(c)(1)(B) for Gov't to Produce Victims['] Affs.
Also in Accord with Title 18 U.S.C. § 3664 (ECF No.
703); Mot. for Ct. to Order Gov't/Probation Office to
Dispense with Sworn Aff. Submitted by Hanover Ins. (ECF
No. 709); Def.'s Mot. for a Writ of Audita Querela
Pursuant to Title 28 U.S.C. § 1651 to Vacate and Correct
Restitution Portion of this Ct.'s J. (ECF No. 713).
The Court has repeatedly rejected Mr. Stile's attempts to
collaterally attack its November 20, 2018 order. Order on
Def.'s Mot. for Ct. to Order Gov't/Probation Office
to Dispense with Sworn Aff. Submitted by Hanover Ins. that
was to be Made in Accordance with Title 18 U.S.C. §
3664(d) at 1-9 (ECF No. 720) (Aff. Order);
Order on Def.'s Mot. for the Production of Victim
Affs. at 1-5 (ECF No. 706) (Production Order);
Order on Def.'s Mot. for a Writ of Audita Querela
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1651 to Vacate and Correct
Restitution Portion of this Ct.'s J. (ECF No. 724)
(Audita Querela Order).
Stile's latest effort is a May 6, 2019 motion to stay
restitution payments to Hanover Insurance Company. Mot.
to Stay Restitution Payments to Hanover Ins. Co. (ECF
No. 733) (Def.'s Mot.). The Government responded
to the motion on May 7, 2019. Resp. by United States of
Am. to Def.'s Mot. to Stay Restitution Payments to
Hanover Ins. Co. (ECF No. 734) (Gov't's
Opp'n). Mr. Stile responded on May 17, 2019.
Reply to Resp. of United States of Am. to Def.'s Mot.
to Stay Restitution Payments to Hanover Ins. Co. (ECF
No. 736) (Def.'s Reply).
THE PARTIES' POSITIONS
James Stile's Motion
Stile notes that he has appealed to the Court of Appeals for
the First Circuit the Court's order denying his motion
for writ of audita querela. Def.'s Mot. at 1. He
says that it “would be improper for this Court to
enforce a judgment (restitution) that is under direct appeal
to the Circuit Court without resolution first being had at
the Circuit level.” Id. Mr. Stile reiterates
that he agrees to pay the “remaining restitution to
victim . . . that is outstanding on his loss of $1, 000.00
and the $100 Court fee.” Id.
The Government's Response
Government states that although Federal Rule of Criminal
Procedure 38(e)(1) allows a court to stay the restitution
portion of a judgment pending appeal, this Rule does not
apply to Mr. Stile because he is not appealing either the
judgment or the amended judgment but the order denying his
motion for writ of audita querela. Gov't's
Opp'n at 1. Next, the Government observes that the
Court properly denied the motion for writ of audita querela
because Mr. Stile failed to appeal the November 20, 2017
restitution order and a writ of audita querela is not a
substitute for a direct appeal. Id. Finally, the
Government notes that Mr. Stile has not yet completed his
payment obligation to E.W. Moore & Son Pharmacy and
therefore his objection to paying Hanover is “factually
unnecessary.” Id. at 1-2.
James Stile's Reply
reply, Mr. Stile complains that he has no access to
LEXIS-NEXIS or Westlaw so he cannot research the caselaw the
Government cited. Def.'s Reply at 1. He explains
he has been assigned to the SHU for the past two and one-half
months and is likely not to have access to his file for
another two to three months. Id. Mr. Stile alleges
that he has “hotly contested” his obligation to
pay Hanover, complaining that he has been denied due process
in the absence of a hearing to contest the amount of
Hanover's payment. Id. at 1-2. Seizing on the
language in the Government's response that suggests a
court has the discretion to stay a restitution order pending
appeal, Mr. Stile says, “Well, then let the Court
exercise said discretion.” Id. at 2. He says
that the Government has not claimed any prejudice to either