United States District Court, D. Utah
J. Shelby District Judge
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
M. WARNER CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Judge Robert Shelby referred this case to Magistrate Judge
Paul M. Warner pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
Before the court are two motions: (1) the government's
Motion to Continue Trial and Exclude Time Under the Speedy
Trial Act and
(2) Defendant Claud R. Koerber's (“Mr.
Koerber”) Motion to Reset Pretrial Motion
April 11, 2017, the court held a status conference to resolve
several issues including scheduling. The United States was
represented by Assistant United States Attorneys Stewart C.
Walz, Tyler L. Murray, and Ruth J. Hackford-Peer. Mr. Koerber
appeared pro se. At the hearing, the court made findings on
the record. Consistent with those findings, the court renders
the following Memorandum Decision and Order.
Koerber is charged in an eighteen count indictment which
includes charges of securities fraud, wire fraud, money
laundering, and tax evasion. This case involves a long and complex
procedural history. Relevant to the present motions, on
February 16, 2017, Mr. Koerber appeared before Magistrate
Judge Evelyn J. Furse for his initial
appearance.Consistent with the Speedy Trial Act
(“STA”), Judge Furse scheduled Mr. Koerber's
jury trial to begin on April 24, 2017. Additionally, Judge Furse
ordered all pretrial motions to be filed by March 23,
case was originally assigned to District Judge Dee V.
March 14, 2017, Judge Benson held a status conference to
discuss scheduling. At the hearing, after discussing the
complexity of the case with the parties, Judge Benson
indicated his willingness to vacate the April 24, 2017, trial
date and begin the trial during the first week in August. At
the time, Mr. Koerber was proceeding pro se. Therefore,
before vacating the April 24, 2017 trial date, Judge Benson
requested that Mr. Koerber meet with attorney Steven Killpack
to discuss whether Mr. Koerber would be amenable to Mr.
Killpack's assistance. The minute entry for the status
conference requested that the government file a motion to
Subsequently, Judge Benson recused and the case was eventually
reassigned to Judge Shelby for further
March 14, 2017, Mr. Koerber filed a Motion to
Accordingly, as of the date of this opinion, twenty-six days
have run on the time allotted under the STA. See 18
U.S.C. § 3161(h)(1)(D).
parties agree that this matter will be ready for trial by
August 7, 2017. However, the parties dispute which mechanism
under the STA the court should utilize to continue the trial
date. Additionally, the parties dispute how long they should
be given to file pretrial motions.
Speedy Trial Act Continuance
government requests that the trial be continued from April
24, 2017, until August 7, 2017, and the period of delay
between April 24, 2017, and August 7, 2017, be excluded from
the STA calculation. Specifically, the government seeks
exclusion of time pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A)
Mr. Koerber agrees that the trial should be continued until
August 7, 2017, but argues that the court should rely on the
STA's automatic tolling provisions rather than using the
ends-of-justice factors under the STA.
generally requires a federal criminal trial to begin within
seventy days from the filing of an information or indictment,
or from the date of the defendant's initial appearance,
whichever is later. 18 U.S.C. § 3161(c)(1). The STA
“serves two distinct interests: (1) to protect a
defendant's right to a speedy indictment and trial, and
(2) to serve the public interest in ensuring prompt criminal
prosecutions.” United States v. Williams, 511
F.3d 1044, 1047 (10th Cir. 2007) (citations omitted). To
balance these often competing interests, the STA provides a
“detailed scheme under which a number of specified
intervals are excluded from the seventy-day computation, thus
tolling the speedy trial calendar.” Id. at
1047-48 (citing 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)). Relevant here, the
STA “permits a district court to grant a continuance
and to exclude the resulting interlude if it finds, on the
record, that the ends of justice served by granting the
continuance outweigh the interests of the public and the
defendant in a speedy trial.” Id. at 1048
(citing 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(8)).
affords the “trial court substantial discretion to
accommodate periods of delay to address the specific needs of
a particular case.” Id. at 1049 (citing
Zedner v. United States, 547 U.S. 489, 499 (2006)).
To make an ends-of-justice finding, the court must consider
the following factors:
(i) Whether the failure to grant such a continuance in the
proceeding would be likely to make a continuation of such
proceeding impossible, or result in a miscarriage of justice.
(ii) Whether the case is so unusual or so complex, due to the
number of defendants, the nature of the prosecution, or the
existence of novel questions of fact or law, that it is
unreasonable to expect adequate preparation for pretrial
proceedings or for the trial itself within the time limits
established by this section.
(iii) Whether, in a case in which arrest precedes indictment,
delay in the filing of the indictment is caused because the
arrest occurs at a time such that it is unreasonable to
expect return and filing of the indictment within the period
specified in section 3161(b), or because the facts upon ...