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Taylor v. United States

January 9, 2007


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sifton, Senior Judge


On March 14, 2002, defendant Michael Taylor pled guilty before this Court to filing a fraudulent tax return in violation of 18 U.S.C. §287. When he failed to appear at his scheduled sentencing, a bench warrant was issued. Thereafter, he was arrested on a different charge in New Jersey and was removed to federal custody by writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum to be sentenced in this Court in connection with his 2002 plea. Now before this Court is defendant's "motion for a stay of the proceedings" on the grounds that his Fifth Amendment rights were violated by his production from New Jersey because the production did not conform with the requirements of the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act ("IAD"). He also alleges that he has been denied access to the courts during his incarceration at the Metropolitan Detention Center ("MDC") and seeks appropriate remedies.


The following facts are taken from the submissions of the parties in connection with this motion. They are undisputed.

In 1994 Michael Taylor was convicted in this Court on a plea of guilty to making false statements in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1001, as a result of his submission of a false income tax return claiming a refund. On March 2, 1994 he was sentenced to a term of incarceration of 21 months, a three-year period of supervised release term and a $50 special assessment. He was released from custody on January 1, 1995 and completed and was discharged from supervised release on January 3, 1998.

On March 14, 2002 Taylor pled guilty in this Court to a one-count indictment charging him with filing a fraudulent 1998 tax return claiming a $6,884 refund, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §287. According to the Pre-Sentence Investigation Report ("PSR") dated May 6, 2002, the defendant filed fifty-nine fraudulent tax return claims for tax year 1998, claiming tax refunds totaling more than $238,000. Using the United States Sentencing Guidelines in effect at the time the offense was committed, the Probation Department calculated the total offense level at 13, based on an intended loss amount of over $200,000, which resulted in a guideline imprisonment range of 24 to 30 months.

On June 6, 2002, Taylor objected to the PSR guideline calculation on the grounds that he believed he filed less than fifty-nine fraudulent tax returns and that, therefore, the intended loss amount was overstated. By letter dated June 28, 2002, the government responded that the intended loss set forth in the PSR was accurate. The government attached as exhibits to its response copies of the fraudulent W-2s that were submitted in connection with the fraudulent income tax returns.

On July 2, 2002 Taylor failed to appear at his scheduled sentencing. After he again failed to appear for a rescheduled July 11, 2002 sentencing, an arrest warrant was issued by this Court.

On November 5, 2002 Taylor was arrested on violation of laws in New Jersey. That same day the United States Marshals Service for the District of New Jersey filed a detainer with the Hackensack police department based on the July 11, 2002 bench warrant. On February 3, 2003 a New Jersey grand jury charged Taylor in a 21-count indictment with passing false checks, committing two armed robberies, attempting to elude arrest, attempting and causing serious bodily injury to four uniformed police officers with a deadly weapon, and resisting arrest, all in violation of New Jersey's penal code.

On March 24, 2004 Taylor filed a habeas petition in this Court challenging the performance of his federally appointed counsel pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2255 in the underlying criminal matter docketed 02-CR-0097. I dismissed that petition as premature, without prejudice to its renewal after Taylor had been sentenced in the underlying criminal matter.

Taylor was convicted by a New Jersey jury and his sentencing in that matter was scheduled for September 2005. However, prior to sentencing, the government removed the defendant from New Jersey to federal custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York ("MDC") pursuant to a federal writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum in order to have the defendant appear on July 21, 2005 before this Court in the 02-CR-0097 sentencing.

On July 21, 2005 the defendant appeared before the undersigned but was removed from the courtroom after refusing to follow my instructions to be silent and let defense counsel speak for him. Based on the government's motion of August 2, 2005, on August 16, 2005 I ordered a competency evaluation of the defendant. I also set a motion schedule for the defendant to file a submission on the issue of his production in federal custody from state custody. Defense counsel requested that the defendant be permitted to file his submission by September 14, 2005. Later adjournments were granted to the defendant to submit his papers.

By report dated October 27, 2005, a forensic psychologist for the Bureau of Prisons determined that the defendant did not have a mental disease or defect under the law and that the defendant was competent to stand trial. On November 1, 2005 I ruled that the defendant was competent and could proceed pro se and I set a new motion schedule for defendant's motions. Thereafter, I granted defendant's ...

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