United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MALACHY E. MANNION UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the court is the defendant James Bailey-Snyder's
motion to dismiss the indictment. (Doc. 50). Based upon the
court's review of the motion and related materials, the
defendant's motion will be DENIED.
August 10, 2015, federal inmate James Bailey-Snyder, who was
then being housed at the Federal Correctional Institution in
Schuylkill, Pennsylvania (“FCI-Schuylkill”), was
found to be in possession of a seven-inch homemade plastic
weapon that was sharpened to a point with a shoelace string
attached as a handle (commonly known as a
“shank”). (Doc. 1). Later that same day,
Bailey-Snyder was transferred to FCI-Schuylkill's Special
Handling Unit (“SHU”), which is an administrative
detention facility, where Bailey-Snyder remained in isolation
pending further investigation. (Doc. 51).
parties attempted to reach a pre-indictment plea agreement
but were unable to do so. (Doc. 56). As such, the matter was
presented to a grand jury for the Middle District of
Pennsylvania, which issued a single-count indictment against
Bailey-Snyder in the above-captioned case on June 28, 2016.
(Doc. 1). The indictment charged Bailey-Snyder with violating
18 U.S.C. §§1791(a)(2) and (b)(3), which forbid the
possession of a prohibited object while serving time as a
prison inmate. (Id.).
pled not guilty to the crimes charged on July 19, 2016. (Doc.
9). After filing a series of motions to extend time
limitations and to continue the trial date, Bailey-Snyder
filed the instant motion to dismiss the indictment, along
with a brief in support, on November 19, 2017. (Doc. 50; Doc.
51). The government filed its brief in opposition to the
instant motion on November 30, 2017. (Doc. 56). Trial is
currently scheduled for December 11, 2017. This matter has
been fully briefed and is now ripe for disposition.
The Defendant's Speedy Trial Rights
primary argument in favor of dismissing the indictment is
that the government violated his constitutional and statutory
rights to a speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment and the
Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.§§3161-3174. To this
end, Bailey-Snyder alleges that his rights were violated
because the government indicted him ten months and eighteen
days after his placement into the SHU, which Bailey-Snyder
claims constituted an “arrest” for speedy trial
purposes. (Doc. 51).
Sixth Amendment provides that “[i]n all criminal
prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy
and public trial.” U.S. Const. Amend. XI. The Sixth
Amendment's protections are “activated only when a
criminal prosecution has begun and [extend] only to those
persons who have been accused [during] the course of that
prosecution.” United States v. Marion, 404
U.S. 307, 313 (1971). Thus, the Sixth Amendment
“afford[s] no protection to those not yet accused,
” nor does it “require the government to
discover, investigate, [or] accuse any person within any
particular period of time.” Id. The Supreme
Court has interpreted the word “accused” to mean
any person who has been arrested or formally indicted.
See id. at 321 (holding that “[i]nvocation of
the speedy trial provision . . . need not await indictment,
information, or other formal charge. But we decline to extend
that reach of the Amendment to the period prior to arrest.
Until this event occurs, a citizen suffers no restraints on
his liberty and is not the subject of public
Speedy Trial Act (“the Act”) establishes more
specific time limitations to ensure that the various stages
of a criminal proceeding progress promptly. Specifically, the
Act provides that “[a]ny information or indictment
charging an individual with the commission of an offense
shall be filed within thirty days from the date on which such
individual was arrested or served with a summons in
connection with such charges.” 18 U.S.C. §3161(b).
The Act, however, specifically exempts certain causes of
delay from consideration when calculating the total amount of
elapsed time, including “delay resulting from any
pretrial motion” and “delay resulting from a
continuance granted by any judge.” Id.
case presents an issue of first impression in the Third
Circuit, as our courts have yet to encounter the question of
whether an inmate's placement into administrative
segregation amounts to an “arrest” for speedy
trial purposes. While the Third Circuit has yet to decide
this issue directly, other Courts of Appeals have squarely
addressed it, and the court finds their reasoning both
persuasive and instructive. Those Courts of Appeals that have
faced this issue have uniformly concluded that being held in
administrative segregation pending criminal charges is not an
arrest under either the Sixth Amendment or the Speedy Trial
Act. See, e.g., United States v. Wearing,
837 F.3d 905, 909 (8th Cir. 2016); United States v.
Daniels, 698 F.2d 221, 223 (4th Cir. 1983); United
States v. Mills, 641 F.2d 785, 787 (9th Cir. 1981);
United States v. Blevins, 593 F.2d 646, 647 (5th
Cir. 1979); United States v. Bambulas, 571 F.2d 525,
527 (10th Cir. 1978).
Supreme Court has previously outlined the contours of what
constitutes an arrest for speedy trial purposes.
“Arrest is a public act that may seriously interfere
with the defendant's liberty . . . and that may disrupt
his employment, drain his financial resources, curtail his
associations, subject him to public obloquy, and create
anxiety in him, his family, and his friends.”
Marion, 404 U.S. at 320. An inmate's placement
into administrative segregation, by contrast, is “in no
way related to or dependent on prosecution by the federal
government” and is instead “a method of
disciplining or investigating inmates who break prison
regulations, of protecting certain inmates from members of
the general population, and of providing a general
cooling-down period for inmates involved in events that could
disrupt the general [inmate] population.”
Wearing, 837 F.3d at 909 (quoting United States
v. Duke, 527 F.2d 386, 390 (5th Cir. 1976)).
FCI-Schuylkill's disciplinary procedures “did not
focus public obloquy upon [the defendant], did not disrupt
[his] employment or drain [his] financial resources.”
Mills, 641 F.2d at 787 (9th Cir. 1981) (quoting
United States v. Clardy, 540 F.2d 439, 441 (9th
Cir.), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 963 (1976)).
While Bailey-Snyder's “[a]ctual physical restraint
may have increased and [his] free association [may have]
diminished . . . unless we were to say that imprisonment . .
. is a continuing arrest, these criteria bear little weight
in the peculiar context of a penal institution where the
curtailment of liberty is the general rule, not the
exception.” Id. In other words,
Bailey-Snyder's placement into the SHU was not a
“public act with public ramifications, ” as an
arrest is often considered to be; instead, it was merely a
private act. Id. In every case where this question
has been directly addressed, courts have found that the
confinement of a prison inmate in administrative segregation
is not the equivalent of an arrest for purposes of either the
Sixth Amendment or the Speedy Trial ...