United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT MICHAEL STEVEN WRIGHT'S
MOTION FOR BAIL
DERRICK K. WATSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
October 2, 2018, Defendant Michael Steven Wright filed a
“Motion for Bail While his [28 U.S.C.] § 2255
Motion Remains Pending in this Court” (“the Bail
Motion”). Dkt. No. 64. On October 19, 2018, the United
States filed a response in opposition to the Bail Motion.
Dkt. No. 67. Wright then filed a reply. Dkt. No. 68.
Wright acknowledges in the Bail Motion, in 2016, this Court
was faced with an almost identical request as the one at
issue here. At that time, the Court found that it could not
grant the relief requested-release on bail pending
disposition of Section 2255 motions-because the Court lacked
clear legal authority to do so. United States v.
Carreira, 2016 WL 1047995, at *1-2 (D. Haw. Mar. 10,
argues, however, that the Court should revisit its decision
in Carreira due to a decision issued shortly
thereafter by the U.S. Supreme Court in Dietz v.
Bouldin, 136 S.Ct. 1885 (2016). Wright argues that
Dietz counsels recognizing the “inherent
authority” of this Court to maintain his bail status
while his Section 2255 Motion is pending. More specifically,
Wright argues that this Court has such inherent authority
because granting him bail is a reasonable response to a
problem his Section 2255 Motion presents and doing so is not
contrary to any rule or statute.
Dietz, the Supreme Court provided guidance on the
limits of a court's inherent powers to achieve the
orderly and expeditious disposition of cases.
First, the exercise of an inherent power must be a reasonable
response to the problems and needs confronting the
court's fair administration of justice. Second, the
exercise of an inherent power cannot be contrary to an
express grant of or limitation on the district court's
power contained in a rule or statute.
Dietz, 136 S.Ct. at 1892 (quotation and citation
those limits to the facts before it, the Supreme Court
concluded that a district court has the inherent power to
rescind an order discharging a jury before issuing final
judgment in a civil case. Id. at 1893. In
particular, the Supreme Court concluded that doing so
“can be a reasonable response to correcting an error in
the jury's verdict in certain circumstances” and
was consistent with other inherent powers designed to resolve
cases expeditiously and efficiently. Id. at 1892-93.
Court disagrees that Dietz suggests a different
course should be taken than the one in Carreira. In
order to understand the limits on inherent powers delineated
in Dietz, it is necessary to recognize the context
in which the Supreme Court expressed them. Notably, the
Supreme Court explained that it had “long recognized
that a district court possesses inherent powers that are
governed not by rule or statute but by the control
necessarily vested in courts to manage their own affairs so
as to achieve the orderly and expeditious disposition of
cases.” Id. at 1891. In this light, the proper
way to construe these limitations is that they are limits on
a court's ability to achieve the orderly and expeditious
disposition of cases. The ultimate result in Dietz
bears this out, given that the Supreme Court explained that
rescinding a jury-discharge order could be reasonable under
certain circumstances because, “[c]ompared to the
alternative of conducting a new trial, recall can save the
parties, the court, and society the costly time and
litigation expense of conducting a new trial with a new set
of jurors.” See id. at 1893.
the “problem” created by Wright's request to
remain on bail while his Section 2255 Motion remains
pending-Wright contends the problem is that he may be
imprisoned for longer than he would if his Section 2255
Motion succeeds-is far removed from any problem with the
orderly and expeditious disposition of this
case. As such, the Court disagrees that
Dietz's inherent-power analysis affords Wright
the relief he seeks. Put another way, because the type of
inherent power Wright wishes this Court to recognize is
unrelated to those that the Supreme Court has “long
recognized, ” and in the absence of clear legal
authority allowing the relief Wright seeks, it remains for
the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court to explain whether
such a power exists and, if so, the circumstances in which it
may be used.
on a procedural note, in Carreira, after denying the
motion for bail, this Court granted the movants leave to take
an interlocutory appeal. Carreira, 2016 WL 1047995,
at *3. In light of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals'
discussion on the appeal of that decision, this Court
declines to grant an interlocutory appeal in this case
“because a bail determination cannot materially advance
the ultimate termination of the litigation.” See
United States v. McCandless, 841 F.3d 819, 822 (9th Cir.
2016). Instead, to the extent Wright wishes to seek review of
the instant decision, he should file a petition for writ of
mandamus challenging the denial of his Bail Motion. See