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United States v. Hampton

February 15, 2008

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DANIEL GLENN HAMPTON, LARRY EUGENE HAMPTON, ALSO KNOWN AS GENE, DANIEL LEE GOINS, ALSO KNOWN AS "CHEESE," BRENT FITZGERALD TARTER, RON SEIBER, AND EMORY SAYLOR, ALSO KNOWN AS "WAYNO," DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: H. Bruce Guyton United States Magistrate Judge

JORDAN /GUYTON

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

All pretrial motions in this case have been referred to the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) for disposition or report and recommendation regarding disposition by the District Court as may be appropriate. This criminal action is before the Court on defendant Daniel Glen Hampton's Motion For Impeachment Evidence As To Any Person Who May Be Called As A Witness [Doc. 62], Motion For Early Disclosure Of Jencks Act Material [Doc. 63], Motion To Reveal Confidential Informants And To Disclose Any Deals Or Agreements Offered In Exchange Of Their Cooperation [Doc. 64], and Motion For Specific Discovery [Doc. 79]; and on defendant Emory Saylor's Motion to Adopt Pleadings Of Co-Defendants [Doc. 77] and Motion For Bill Of Particulars. [Doc. 78]

The Court has determined that oral argument is not needed for disposition of these motions. The instant motions are now ripe for adjudication, and the Court will address each motion in turn.

I. Motion For Impeachment Evidence As To Any Person Who May Be Called As A Witness [Doc. 62]

In his first motion, defendant Daniel Glen Hampton moves the Court to order the government to produce impeachment evidence as to any person whom the government may call as a witness at trial. The defendant contends that the confidential sources utilized by the government in this matter may have been engaged in illegal drug use, and thus the government should disclose any such information. The government states that it is aware of its Jencks and Brady obligations, and that it will disclose the appropriate material at the appropriate time.

The Court notes that the Scheduling Order [Doc. 18] in this matter directed the government to make any disclosures required under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). The Scheduling Order also stated that "[t]he government is strongly encouraged to reveal Jencks Act materials to defense counsel as soon as possible and well before the testimony of government witnesses in order to avoid undue interruptions of trials." [Doc. 18] The Court further notes that the Sixth Circuit has held that the disclosure of Jencks Act material that is also arguably Brady material is governed by the Jencks Act. See United States v. Bencs, 28 F.3d 555, 561 (6th Cir. 1994). In other words, when a witness' statement could qualify as either Brady material or Jencks Act material, the government is under no obligation to disclose that statement until after the witness has completed direct examination. And while there is some tension in the case law regarding whether the Court has the discretion to order the government to produce a witness list even though the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure do not require it, compare United States v. Kendricks, 623 F.2d 1165, 1168 (6th Cir. 1980) (holding that the district court has the discretion to order the prosecution to produce a witness list), with United States v. Presser, 844 F.2d 175, 1285 (6th Cir. 1988) (holding that Rule 16 provides no authority for compelling the government to disclose Brady material or any other evidence not required by the rule pretrial), the Court does not find this case so unusual as to require such early disclosure. Accordingly, given the hierarchy of Jencks and Brady, the defendant's motion [Doc. 62] is hereby DENIED.

II. Motion For Early Disclosure Of Jencks Act Material [Doc. 63]

In his second motion, defendant Daniel Glen Hampton moves the Court to order the government to produce Jencks Act material in advance of trial. For the reasons stated above, the Court finds that the defendant's motion [Doc. 63] is not well-taken and is hereby DENIED.

III. Motion To Reveal Confidential Informants And To Disclose Any Deals Or Agreements Offered In Exchange Of Their Cooperation [Doc. 64]

In his third motion, the defendant moves the Court to require the government to disclose the identity and present location of all informants in this matter who are alleged to have participated in the acts in question. The government opposes the motion, arguing that the defendant is not entitled to such information because the informants in question will be testifying at trial. The Sixth Circuit has held that a defendant is not entitled to obtain information in advance of trial regarding confidential informants who will be testifying at trial and subject to cross examination. United States v. Perkins, 994 F.2d 1184, 1190-91 (6th Cir. 1993). Accordingly, the defendant's motion [Doc. 64] is hereby DENIED.

IV. Motion For Specific Discovery [Doc. 79]

In his fourth motion, the defendant moves the Court to require the government to disclose the name, work address, and telephone number of all government agents, whether federal, state, or local, present at 493 East Roddy Road, Spring City, Tennessee, at any time on August, 18, 2007. The government has stated that, to the extent that it can determine which agents were present, it will provide such information to the defendant. [Doc. 83] In light of the government's agreement, the defendant's motion [Doc. 79] is hereby ...


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