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United States v. Warren

May 11, 2010


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joy Flowers Conti United States District Judge


On March 23, 2010, Defendant Isaiah Warren ("defendant") filed a motion to reconsider the denial of appeal of order of detention. (Docket No. 234.) In the motion, defendant argues evidence exists that directly addresses many of the concerns that caused the court to deny defendant's request for release. After reviewing the motion to reconsider, the accompanying exhibits to the motion, and the government's response (Docket No. 256), the court denies defendant's motion.


On September 15, 2009, a grand jury returned an indictment at Criminal No. 09-273 charging defendant with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. (Docket No. 1.) On November 2, 2009, a magistrate judge held a detention hearing. (Docket No. 104.) The magistrate judge entered an order of detention of defendant pending trial. (Docket No. 105.) On November 5, 2009, defendant appealed to this court, requesting that it review the order of detention. (Docket No. 106.) This court held a hearing on the appeal on November 23, 2009, and affirmed on the record the original detention order. On December 4, 2009, the court set forth its ruling in writing. (Docket No. 141.) On December 8, 2009, a grand jury returned a superseding indictment. (Docket No. 145.) Defendant faced the same charges in the superseding indictment as he faced in the original indictment. (Id.)

On March 23, 2010, defendant filed the instant motion. (Docket No. 234.) In the motion to reconsider, defendant explains that in his household there were several legitimate sources of cash during the relevant time period. (Id.) He alleges that these sources were sufficient to support his lifestyle and his purchases. (Id.) Defendant argues that these sources of cash rebut the 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e) presumption that there were no conditions of release that could reasonably ensure the safety of the community. (Id.)


Defendant requests that this court reconsider its denial of his appeal of the order of detention. A motion for reconsideration is granted only if one of three situations is shown: (1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not previously available, or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or to prevent manifest injustice. Max's Seafood Café ex rel. Lou-Ann v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999) (citing Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 476 U.S. 1171 (1986)).

Because of the interest in finality, at least at the district court level, motions for reconsideration should be granted sparingly; the parties are not free to relitigate issues the court has already decided. . . . Stated another way, a motion for reconsideration is not properly grounded in a request for a district court to rethink a decision it has already made, rightly or wrongly. . . .

Williams v. Pittsburgh, 32 F. Supp. 2d 236, 238 (W.D. Pa. 1998) (internal citations omitted). At least one other district court has applied this standard to a motion for reconsideration of a detention decision. See United States v. Merola, No. 08-327, 2008 WL 4449624, at **1-2 (D.N.J. Sept. 30, 2008).

Defendant makes no argument with respect to the factors relevant to reconsideration. Defendant does not argue that there has been a change in the controlling law. Nor does defendant argue that there is a need to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice.

Even though defendant attaches several exhibits to the motion to reconsider, defendant fails to show that these exhibits are new pieces of evidence that were not previously available. Exhibit 2 is a pay stub for Crystal Everett from PRC LLC, indicating a pay date of September 11, 2009. (Docket No. 234, Ex. 2.) Exhibit 4 is IRS form 8879 (e-file signature authorization form) for Isaiah Warren dated January 26, 2009. (Docket No. 234, Ex. 4.) These exhibits were in existence prior to the November 23, 2009 hearing and were available on that date.

Exhibit 1 is a collection of 2009 W-2 statements. (Docket No. 234, Ex. 1.) It includes a W-2 statement for Isaiah Warren from GAP, Inc., and a W-2 statement for Crystal Everett from PRC LLC. (Id.) Although the W-2 statements were not available at the time of November 23, 2009 hearing, the information that the statements verify -- the amount of money earned by defendant and Crystal Everett -- would have been known and available. Pay stubs, bank records, or testimony could have been offered as evidence to establish the same facts. See Olujoke v. Gonzales, 411 F.3d 16, 23 (1st Cir. 2005) (treating a motion as a motion to reopen an immigration hearing, requiring the movant to identify "previously unavailable, material evidence," and denying the motion to reopen because, although a psychological report was issued after the hearing, the information underlying the report was previously available); Drux v. Megasol Cosmetic GMBH, No. 03-CV-8820, 2006 WL 870462, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 3, 2006) (drawing a distinction between "newly discovered evidence" as is necessary for granting a motion for reconsideration, and "new evidence" in a form created after the court rendered its decision but of which the party would have known of its existence in a different form prior to the decision).

Exhibit 3 is an unsworn declaration of Diana Warren, defendant's mother, dated December 14, 2009. (Docket No. 234, Ex. 3.) In the declaration, Diana Warren states that in July 2009 she gave defendant $3000 cash from her own savings, in order for defendant to purchase a Coverall Cleaning franchise. (Id.) This information would have been known prior to the November 23, 2009 hearing, and defendant could have earlier created the declaration or he could have introduced testimony at the hearing to substantiate the statements in the declaration.

Exhibit 5 is a rental invoice from RE/DEALS Inc. dated March 18, 2010. (Docket No. 234, Ex. 5.) The invoice indicates that monthly rent was paid in the amount of $400 from March 2009 to August 2009. (Id.) Defendant argues that this invoice is for a residence located at 1210 Craig Street that defendant shared with Tameka Adams until August or September 2009. Defendant's rental payments between March 2009 and August 2009, however, could have been established by other information available at the time of the November 23, 2009 hearing. Defendant ...

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