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United States v. Cook

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee

June 7, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
MARILYN YVETTE COOK, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          DEBRA C POPLIN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         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 case is before the undersigned on the following pro se motions and filings of Defendant Cook, relating to her ability to represent herself and to prepare her case for trial on July 30, 2019:

(1) Notice of Non-working IDN ******* Assigned While in Custody at Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility [Doc. 70], filed on February 28, 2019;[1" name= "FN1" id="FN1">1]
(2) Motion to Add to “Notice of Non-working IDN # *******” Doc. 70 [Doc. 74-1], filed on March 26, 2019;
(3) Notice of Harassment from Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility, Blocking Me from Filing Motions, Investigating Facts of Defendant[‘s] Case . . . [Doc. 76-1], filed on March 26, 2019;
(4) Motion to Add USA Discovery for Exhibits to “Motion to Produce Delegated Authority to Administrate Marilyn Powell, Estate Doc. 69 [Doc.83-1], filed on April 3, 2019;
(5) Motion to Add Doc. 90, Letter to IRS Technical Support Division, to Doc. 63 for Exhibit [Doc. 94-1], filed on May 1, 2019;
(6) Subpoenas [Doc. 98-1], filed on May 13, 2019;
(7) Subpoenas [Doc. 99-1], filed on May 13, 2019;
(8) Motion for Access to the Internet/Telephone [Doc. 102-1], filed on May 17, 2019;
(9) Subpoenas [Doc. 104-1], filed on May 17, 2019;
(10) Subpoenas [Doc. 105-1], filed on May 20, 2019;
(11) Motion to Add USA Discovery 201-203 for Exhibits [Doc. 106-1], filed on May 20, 2019;
(12) Motion to Issue the Subpoenas Elbow Attorney Robert R. Kurtz Delivered to Me Unsigned by the Clerk of Court on May 2, 2019, and Filed with the Court Unsigned by the Clerk of Court on 5/13/19 [Doc. 107], [2] filed on May 22, 2019;
(13) Motion to Order Elbow Attorney Robert R. Kurtz to Hand Deliver and/or Mail Copies of Everything in the Above Style[d] Case File [Doc. 107], filed on May 22, 2019;
(14) Motion to Have Access to the Internet and Telephone for Excessive Research Need[ed] to Prepare for Trial July 31 [sic.], [3]p.2019 [Doc. 107], filed on May 22, 2019;
(15) Motion to Issue the Subpoenas Elbow Attorney Robert R. Kurtz Delivered to Me Unsigned by the Clerk of Court on May 2, 2019 AND Filed with the Court Unsigned by the Clerk on 5/13/19 [Doc. 108-1], filed on May 28, 2019;
(16) Motion to Order Knox County Jail D/B/A Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility to Provide Me Legal Material to Research and Prepare a Defense for the Marilyn Yvette Cook Constructive Trust [Doc. 109-1], filed on May 28, 2019; and
(17) Subpoena [Doc. 110-1], filed on May 30, 2019.

         On January 31, 2019, the undersigned found [Doc. 64] Defendant Cook to be competent, following a mental evaluation, and permitted her to represent herself, after thoroughly advising her of the risks and problems associated with self-representation. At that time, the Court appointed Attorney Robert R. Kurtz, who had previously served as the Defendant's counsel of record, as her elbow or standby counsel, over the Defendant's objection. The Court also reviewed the role of elbow counsel with Defendant Cook, stating that Mr. Kurtz could provide advice during the trial, advise her on courtroom protocol, assist her with responding to objections, and be appointed to represent her, if she changed her mind about representing herself. Mr. Kurtz also offered to provide the Defendant with the Rules of Evidence, the local rules, the sentencing guidelines, and other basic legal materials to which she did not have access at the jail. Mr. Kurtz stated that he could also assist Defendant Cook in filing documents in the Court's electronic filing system, which would bring the Defendant's filings before the Court more quickly than she could accomplish by mail.

         The Court finds the Defendant's motions and filings raise the following issues: (1) the Defendant's lack of access to physical supplies, legal materials, and the ability to investigate while detained pending her trial, (2) the issuance of subpoenas duces tecum, (3) the role of elbow counsel, and (4) the designation of certain documents as exhibits. The Court will address each of these issues in turn.

         I. ACCESS TO SUPPLIES, LEGAL MATERIALS, & ...


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