United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
Bissoon United States District Judge
counsels' Motions to Withdraw (Docs. 197 & Doc. 202)
are GRANTED; and Defendant's “Motion to Dismiss
Counsel” (Doc. 199) is DENIED AS MOOT.
these Motions were pending, Defendant submitted two copies of
the same document, titled “Motion to Vacate, Set Aside
or Correct Sentence Pursuant to 28, U.S.C. § 2255,
” on March 1st and March 7th,
2017, respectively. In light of the Court's prior,
repeated Orders making clear that Defendant could not proceed
through “hybrid representation, ” the Clerk's
Office did not file these documents, but instead sought
guidance from the Court. At the time, the undersigned was
presiding over a criminal trial, and the Court did not, until
recently, become aware of the Clerk's Office's
to the suggestion in his second cover letter, Defendant has
not been the victim of a conspiracy to prevent the
filing of his submissions. Rather, the Court has hundreds of
active cases that it must attend to, and it cannot devote all
of its judicial resources to a single litigant. In any event,
the Clerk's Office now will be directed to file the
Motion submitted with Defendant's cover letter dated
March 1st, and the duplicate-copy, submitted with
a cover letter dated March 7th, will be returned
to Defendant along with the instant Order.
addition, Defendant has submitted a “Motion to Vacate,
Set Aside or Correct Sentence Pursuant to 28, U.S.C. §
2241, ” and the Clerk's Office marked it received
March 14, 2017. Like many of his prior submissions, Defendant
listed on the caption two case-numbers, Criminal Action Nos.
10-119 and 13-278. Between the confusion of the “hybrid
representation” prohibition and Defendant's having
listed multiple case numbers, the Clerk's Office again
has sought guidance from the Court, asking whether and where
to file this document.
Defendant's practice of marking multiple case numbers on
a single submission may, in his perception, prove an
effective “short cut, ” it has resulted in
substantial confusion for the Clerk's Office, the Court
and, probably to some degree, Defendant himself. It is not
the Clerk's Office's job, nor is it the Court's,
to decipher which case or cases are the proper
“home” for Defendant's varied and numerous
Defendant hereby is ORDERED to cease the practice of listing
multiple case numbers on his submissions, and the Clerk's
Office is directed, from this point on, to discard any
submission by Defendant containing more than one case number
in the caption. If a submission properly is directed
to more than one case, Defendant shall submit copies of the
document, with different case numbers in the caption, for
each case. This instruction should not be construed
as an invitation for Defendant to direct every submission to
every case number affiliated with him. Rather,
Defendant's decisions regarding the case or cases to
which his submissions are directed must be the result of
thoughtful and deliberate consideration.
the 2254-Motion, the Court will direct the Clerk's Office
to file it at Criminal Action Number 10-119, and not
13-278. Contemporaneously herewith, the Court will enter an
order in 13-278 denying Defendant's request to withdraw
the appearance of Attorney Robert E. Mielnicki in that case.
The prohibition against hybrid-representation will continue
to be observed in 13-278; and, thus, docketing the
2254-Motion in that case would be a nullity.
the Clerk's Office has processed the remaining filings in
this case, as directed above, the Court will enter an order
directing the government to file an omnibus response to all
of Defendant's current Motions in Case No. 10-119.
Defendant is cautioned that, although he is not prohibited
from making additional submissions, his doing likely will
have the unintended consequence of delaying resolution of
issues already before the Court. The government must be
afforded a reasonable opportunity to respond to all matters
placed before the Court, and principles of fairness and
economy counsel strongly against requiring its counsel to
respond, on a rolling basis, to serial filings by Defendant.
See Aruanno v. Yates, 2016 WL 4951047, *14 (D. N.J.
Sept. 14, 2016) (“every court has the inherent power to
control the disposition of the [cases] on its docket with
economy of time and effort for itself, for counsel, and for
[the] litigants”) (citing and quoting Landis v. N.
Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 252 (1936)).
Defendant promptly shall submit in 10-119 a “Notice of
Change of Address, ” as his address-of-record in this
case (1665 New Haven Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15216) clearly is
different from the one identified in his recent submissions.
As a one-time courtesy, the Court will transmit a copy of the
instant Order to the address identified in the return-address
portion of his recent filings (“Jason Sheppard,
32102-068, FCI Elkton, PO Box 10, Lisbon, OH ...