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United States v. Dettelis

May 2, 2006

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
JOSEPH DETTELIS, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Richard J. Arcara Chief Judge United States District Court

DECISION AND ORDER

On December 7, 2005, following a three-week trial, the defendant, Joseph Dettelis, was found guilty of eleven counts of filing false incomes tax returns in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(2), five counts of making false claims against the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 287, and four counts of making a false claim to a United States agency in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a).

On December 9, 2005, the defendant, who has proceeded pro se in this criminal matter since November 2004, requested additional time to file his Rule 29 and/or Rule 33 motions. The defendant also requested an opportunity to file a motion relating to his claim that his speedy trial rights were violated. The Court granted the defendant's request for additional time and the defendant was directed to file any motions that he wanted the Court to consider by January 9, 2006. During the December 9th appearance, the defendant also requested release on bail pending sentencing, which the Court denied.

The defendant failed to file his Rule 29, Rule 33 or speedy trial motions by January 9, 2006, or to request additional time to do so. Instead, on January 30, 2006, the defendant filed a motion "for time served credit, release from imprisonment and to reschedule post-trial and tabled motions." See Dkt. No. 173. In his motion, the defendant once again requested release on bail, asked for an order directing the Probation Office to revise its initial calculations under the United States Sentencing Guidelines, and requested additional time to file his Rule 29, Rule 33 and speedy trial motions. On February 24, 2006, the government filed a response in opposition to the defendant's motion. The motion was deemed submitted on the papers without oral argument.

DISCUSSION

A. Extension of Time to File Post-Trial Motions

The government objects to the defendant's request for additional time to file his post-trial motions on the ground that his request is untimely.

The time for filing a post-verdict motion for judgment of acquittal is set forth in Rule 29(c), which provides:

A defendant may move for a judgment of acquittal, or renew such a motion, within 7 days after a guilty verdict or after the court discharges the jury, whichever is later.

See Fed. R. Crim. P. 29(c)(1).

Rule 33 sets forth the time period for filing a motion for a new trial. Pursuant to Rule 33(b), a motion for a new trial grounded on any reason other than newly discovered evidence must be filed within 7 days after the verdict or finding of guilty. See Fed. R. Crim. P. 33(b)(2). Rule 45(b)(1) limits this Court's authority to extend a time period prescribed by the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Rule 45(b)(1) provides:

When an act must or may be done within a specified period, the court on its own may extend the time, or for good cause may do so on a party's motion made:

(A) before the originally prescribed or previously extended time expires; or

(B) after the time expires if the party failed to act because of ...


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