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United States v. Hatfield

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


June 30, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
SANDRA HATFIELD, DAVID H. BROOKS, PATRICIA LENNEX, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Seybert, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Pending before the Court is the Government's motion to reconsider the Court's April 21, 2010 decision. That motion is DENIED AS UNTIMELY.

Motions for reconsideration must be made within fourteen days. See, e.g., U.S. v. Kerik, 615 F. Supp. 2d 256, 276 n.27 (S.D.N.Y. 2009) (applying Local Civil Rule 6.3's time limit to a criminal case); U.S. v. Yannotti, 457 F. Supp. 2d 385, 390 (S.D.N.Y. 2006) (same). Indeed, the Court has applied this time limit in this very case. See Docket No. 1017 (denying Mr. Brooks' motion for reconsideration as untimely). Here, the Government has waited more than two months, and has provided no excuse for its tardiness. So the Government's motion must be denied without reaching the merits.

That being said, the Government's argument that forfeiture "can never be disproportionate to the offense or violate the Eighth Amendment" is illogical. See Docket No. 1144 at 5. The Supreme Court has expressly held that "[i]f the amount of the forfeiture is grossly disproportional to the gravity of the defendant's offense, it is unconstitutional."

U.S. v. Bajakajian, 524 U.S. 321, 334, 118 S.Ct. 2028, 141 L.Ed.2d 314 (1998). The Government does not contend that Bajakarian has been overruled or otherwise no longer remains good law. Nor can the Government feign ignorance of this holding, because the Court's April 21 decision heavily relied upon it. See U.S. v. Hatfield, 06-CR-550, 2010 WL 1685826, *3, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39618, *11-12 (E.D.N.Y. 2010). So, in asking the Court to declare that forfeiture "can never be disproportionate to the offense or violate the Eighth Amendment," the Government is asking the Court to ignore binding Supreme Court precedent. This the Court cannot do.

SO ORDERED.

Joanna Seybert, U.S.D.J.

20100630

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