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United States v. Liggans

March 31, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BRANDON LIGGANS, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr. United States Magistrate Judge

DECISION AND ORDER

This case was referred to the undersigned by the Hon. William M. Skretny, in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), for all pretrial matters and to hear and report upon dispositive motions. Dkt. #16.

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

The defendant, Brandon Liggans, is charged in a three-count Indictment with having violated Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(D) (Count 1) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(1) (Count 2). Dkt. #1. The defendant also faces a forfeiture count (Count 3) pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924(d) and 3665*fn1, and Title 28, United States Code, Section 2461(c). Dkt. #1.

Presently pending before this Court is the defendant's omnibus motion for discovery (Dkt. #17). In addition to the requests for discovery set forth in the instant motion, the defendant has sought the suppression of physical evidence and statements. Dkt. ##17 and 19. This Court's Report, Recommendation and Order with respect to the motion to suppress will be considered and filed separately. The government has filed its response to the pending omnibus discovery motion, as well as a motion for reciprocal discovery. Dkt. #18. Each of the defendant's requests and the government's responses will be separately addressed below using the headings set forth in the defendant's motion.

DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS

In its response to the defendant's broad discovery requests, the government states that, it provided, pursuant to voluntary discovery[,] material presently within its possession that is within the purview of Rule 16 and in compliance with Rule 12(b)(4)(B). Additional discovery will be provided under a separate cover and the government is aware of its ongoing discovery obligations.

The government has made an additional request of law enforcement and will provide additional materials voluntarily.

Dkt. #18, p.11. In addition, the government further states that "pursuant to Rule 12(b)(4) the government intends to use all items that the defendant has been provided with or been made aware of as part of the government's case in chief." Id.

"Discovery Pursuant to Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 12 and 16"

The defendant seeks the production of documents and evidence within the following twelve categories.

1. Defendant's Statements

By this request the defendant seeks copies of any written or recorded statements and the substance of any statement made by the defendant (written or oral) to a government agent. Dkt. #17, p.3. In addition, the defendant seeks the production of any statements which may have been secretly recorded and any agent's summaries concerning the substance of defendant's oral statements. Id. In its response, the government states that all written and recorded statements of the defendant have been provided or will be provided, as well as the substance of any oral statements made by the defendant before and after his arrest in response to interrogation by any person known to the defendant to be a government agent. Dkt. #18, p.11. Accordingly, based on the representations made by counsel for the government, that such statements have been provided or will be provided to the defendant, defendant's request is denied as moot.

2. Defendant's Prior Criminal Record

This request seeks the production of the defendant's prior criminal record and any prior similar or bad acts which the government intends to introduce at trial. Dkt. #17, p.4. The Court notes that in a separate section of his omnibus discovery motion, the defendant seeks an "advance ruling pursuant to Federal Rules of Evidence 403(b) and 609 prohibiting the Government's use of prior convictions or proof of the prior commissions of other crimes, wrongs or acts either in its direct case or to impeach the Defendant." Dkt. #17, p.5. In its response, the government states that not only does the defendant have full knowledge of his criminal history, but the government has previously provided to the defendant copies of his arrest records. Dkt. #18, pp.13 and 15. In addition, the government further states that should the defendant testify at trial, the government will use whatever convictions the trial court determines are admissible to attack the defendant's credibility. Dkt. #18, p.15. Generally, with respect to the defendant's request concerning "other acts" evidence, the government states that it "will advise the defendant of its intent to use "other acts" evidence pursuant to Fed. R. Evid. 404(b), or its intent to offer evidence pursuant to Fed. R. Evid. 608(b) and 609, at the time it is ordered to do so by the district court or consistent with its disclosure of Jencks material." Id. Accordingly, that portion of defendant's request relating to his criminal history report is denied as moot. Moreover, based on the representations made by counsel for the government, defendant's request concerning "other acts" evidence is also denied as moot. The Court will separately address below, the defendant's request for "an advance ruling on the admissibility of such evidence."

3. "Documents, Consents to Search and Tangible Evidence"

By this request the defendant seeks the production of any documents, consents to search or tangible objects including guns and drugs seized which the government intends to use at trial, or is material to the defense or was obtained from the defendant. Dkt. #17, p.4. The government states in its response that it "has made available all tangible objects obtained pursuant to search warrants or otherwise and will make available photographs material to the preparation of a defense or intended to be used as evidence-in-chief at trial or obtained from or belonging to the defendant." Dkt. #18, p.12. In addition, the government further states "the defendant is apprised that he can examine such material pursuant to Rule 12(b)(4)(B), such evidence shall be used by the government against them [sic] at trial." Id. Accordingly, ...


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