United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
L. Howell, United States Magistrate Judge
matter came before the Court at a detention hearing held
after a Rule 11 proceeding on January 22, 2018. The Court was
presented with the issue of whether Defendant should continue
to be detained pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3143(a)(2).
Defendant requested a detention hearing and to be released
while awaiting sentencing, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3145(c).
Defendant was present with her attorney, Renae Alt-Summers,
and the Government was present and represented by AUSA Justin
Isaac Eason. After hearing arguments and reviewing the
record, the Court makes the following findings.
October 30, 2017, the Government filed a criminal complaint
and the Court issued an arrest warrant for Defendant and two
co-defendants. On the same day, all three defendants were
arrested. On November 1, 2017, the Court held a detention
hearing as to Defendant and issued an Order of Detention [#
15]. On November 14, 2017, the grand jury returned a bill of
indictment charging Defendant with aiding and abetting armed
robbery of an Indian, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§
2111, 2, and 1152; and kidnapping of an Indian, in violation
of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1201(a)(2), 2, and 1152. On January
9, 2018, Defendant and the Government entered into a plea
agreement [# 44]. On January 16, 2018, Defendant asked to
continue her plea hearing until January 22, 2018, and to have
a detention hearing following [# 45]. On January 22, 2018,
the Court held a plea hearing and Defendant pled guilty to
aiding and abetting armed robbery of an Indian, in violation
of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2111, 2, and 1152 [# 46].
close of the plea hearing, the Court held a detention hearing
regarding the release of Defendant into a treatment facility.
Defendant was on a waiting list for Swain Recovery Center for
a forty-two day in-patient program, with a bed available on
January 24, 2018 [# 45]. The Court stated that Defendant had
just pled guilty to a violent crime that would require
exceptional reasons for release. Defendant's counsel
stated that Defendant has a desire to rehabilitate herself
and has only one leg, using a prosthesis to ambulate.
motion is based upon 18 U.S.C. § 3145(c):
(c) Appeal from a release or detention
An appeal from a release or detention order, or from a
decision denying revocation or amendment of such an order, is
governed by the provisions of section 1291 of title 28 and
section 3731 of this title. The appeal shall be determined
promptly. A person subject to detention pursuant to section
3143(a)(2) or (b)(2), and who meets the conditions of release
set forth in section 3143(a)(1) or (b)(1), may be ordered
released, under appropriate conditions, by the judicial
officer, if it is clearly shown that there are exceptional
reasons why such person's detention would not be
October 2009, District Judge Reidinger assigned to this Court
the task of conducting exceptional reason determinations in
criminal matters pending in this district. Judge Reidinger
defined ‘exceptional reasons' in United
States v.Vilaiphone, No. 3:08-cr-232, 2009 WL
412958 (W.D. N.C. Feb. 19, 2009).
Courts generally have defined “exceptional
reasons” as circumstances which are “clearly out
of the ordinary, uncommon, or rare.” See
United States v. Larue, 478 F.3d 924, 926 (8th Cir.
2007) (finding defendant's compliance with terms of
pretrial release, lack of criminal record, payment of child
support, and continued employment were not exceptional
reasons warranting release); United States v. Lea,
360 F.3d 401, 403 (2d Cir. 2004) (“Exceptional
circumstances exist where there is ‘a unique
combination of circumstances giving rise to situations that
are out of the ordinary.'”). The fact that the
Defendant has cooperated with the Government and has complied
with the terms and conditions of his pretrial release do not
constitute exceptional reasons warranting his continued
release pending sentencing. See United States v.
Little, 485 F.3d 1210, 1211 (8th Cir. 2007) (“It
is not exceptional to expect every defendant to timely appear
in court and to obey the court's order concerning
pretrial conditions of release. Nor it is clearly out of the
ordinary, uncommon or rare for defendants to cooperate in the
investigation of their criminal acts.”). Similarly, the
Defendant's lack of a significant criminal history and
his gainful employment, while commendable, do not rise to the
level of “exceptional reasons.” See
Lea, 360 F.3d at 403-04 (“There is nothing
‘exceptional about going to school, being employed, or
being a first-time offender, either separately or in
combination.”). Finally, while the Court is cognizant
of the hardships that the Defendant's detention will
create for his immediate family, such hardships are common to
nearly every case involving a term of imprisonment and thus
do not qualify as “exceptional reasons” under
§ 3145(c). See United States v.
Garcia, 340 F.3d 1013, 1022 (9th Cir. 2003)
(“Hardships that commonly result from imprisonment do
not meet the standard.”); United States v.
Mahabir, 858 F.Supp. 504, 508 (D. Md. 1994) (“A
defendant's incarceration regularly creates difficulties
for him and his family. Courts have found that such purely
personal considerations do not constitute exceptional reasons
within the meaning of Section 3145(c).”).
Id. at *2 (internal citations omitted). See also
U.S. v. Norvell, 729 F.3d 788, 791- 92, 796 (8th Cir.
2013) (finding that a district court did not abuse its
discretion by determining that “[a]lthough laudable,
the desire to seek treatment and rehabilitate oneself is not
“‘clearly out of the ordinary, uncommon, or
Court does not find exceptional reasons exist in this case.
While the Court finds it is laudable for defendants to seek
treatment and rehabilitate themselves, it can hardly been
seen as uncommon or rare, and therefore it is not an
exceptional reason for release. Additionally, Defendant
failed to make a connection between her condition of having
one leg and how that itself is an exceptional reason or how
it relates to an exceptional reason for release.
IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED, that Defendant's
motion for release is DENIED. Defendant