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United States v. Williams

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

February 28, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ANTHONY T. WILLIAMS, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

          Leslie E. Kohayashi United States District Judge

         Pro se Defendant Anthony T. Williams (“Defendant”)[1]filed the following motions: Motion for Order of Contempt Against the Illinois Anti-Predatory Lending Database (“IAPLD Contempt Motion”), on October 4, 2018; Motion for Order of Contempt Against the Orange County (CA) District Attorney's Office (“OCDAO Contempt Motion”), on October 24, 2018; Motion for Order of Contempt Against the Broward County (FL) Sheriff's Office (“BCSO Contempt Motion” and collectively “Contempt Motions”), on October 26, 2018; and “Defendant Anthony Williams's Motion to Sever His Trial from the Trial of Co-Defendants and for Leave to Re-new” (“Motion to Sever”), on October 30, 2018. [Dkt. nos. 349, 357, 361, 365.] At hearings held on November 26, 2018, this Court orally denied the Contempt Motions and the Motion to Sever (“11/26/18 Rulings”). [Minutes, filed 11/26/18 (dkt. no. 392).]

         Before the Court is Defendant's motion for reconsideration of the 11/26/18 Rulings (“Motion for Reconsideration”), filed on December 10, 2018. [Dkt. no. 395.] Defendant filed a supplement to the Motion for Reconsideration (“Supplement”) on January 7, 2019, and Plaintiff the United States of America (“the Government”) filed its memorandum in opposition on January 10, 2019. [Dkt. nos. 407, 408.] The Court has considered the Motion for Reconsideration as a non-hearing matter pursuant to Rule LR7.2(e) of the Local Rules of Practice of the United States District Court for the District of Hawai`i (“Local Rules”). Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration is hereby denied for the reasons set forth below.

         BACKGROUND

         The parties and this Court are familiar with the factual and procedural background of this case, and only the background relevant to the Motion for Reconsideration will be repeated here.

         On February 22, 2018, the Clerk's Office issued several subpoenas for documents, information or objects to the custodian of records for: the Illinois Anti-Predatory Lending Database (“IAPLD”); the Orange County, California District Attorney's Office (“OCDAO”); and the Broward County, Florida Sheriff's Office (“BCSO”) on behalf of Defendant. [IAPLD Contempt Motion, Decl. of Counsel, Exh. A (“IAPLD Subpoena”); OCDAO Contempt Motion, Decl. of Counsel, Exh. A (“OCDAO Subpoena”); BCSO Contempt Motion, Decl. of Counsel, Exh. A (“BCSO Subpoena”).] Defendant made substantially the same requests in each subpoena, asking for a broad range of documents, including: all documents and communications made to or relating to Common Law Office of America (“CLOA”), Mortgage Enterprise Investments (“MEI”), and Defendant; and any secret recordings made regarding Defendant. The OCDAO Subpoena and BCSO Subpoena requested documentation of policies and procedures for the respective entities in effect on or around February 15, 2017. The OCDAO Subpoena also requested the number of approved mortgages filed by MEI in Orange County. [IAPLD Subpoena, Exh. A; OCDAO Subpoena, Exh. A; BCSO Subpoena, Exh. A.]

         I. IAPLD Subpoena

         On October 22, 2018, following Defendant's IAPLD Contempt Motion, the magistrate judge issued his Certification of Facts Regarding the Illinois Anti-Predatory Lending Database's Failure to Comply with Subpoena. [Dkt. no. 356.] The magistrate judge found that: on March 6, 2018, a subpoena was served on an administrative assistant with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation; the custodian of records for the IAPLD was required to produce documents as requested by March 15, 2018; and the IAPLD failed to either comply with the subpoena or contact Defendant to object to the subpoena. [Id. at ¶¶ 2-4.] The IAPLD was ordered to show cause, in writing and at a hearing before this Court, why it should not be held in contempt for failing to comply with the subpoena. [Id. at pg. 3.]

         On October 29, 2018, the Court received a document in response to the IAPLD Subpoena and forwarded it to Mr. Isaacson. [Dkt. no. 364.]

         II. OCDAO Subpoena

         On March 13, 2018, the United States Marshals Service (“Marshals Service”) attempted to execute service of the OCDAO Subpoena on OCDAO. [OCDAO Contempt Motion, Decl. of Counsel (“OCDAO Contempt Decl.”), Exh. C (email dated 9/12/18 to Mr. Isaacson from Channing Iwamura of the Marshals Service regarding service of subpoenas).] Although OCDAO did not accept service of the OCDA Subpoena, it responded by letter, dated March 14, 2018, objecting to the subpoena on the following grounds: (1) compliance with the requested date of March 15 would be “unreasonable or oppressive”; [OCDAO Contempt Decl., Exh. D at 1;] (2) much of the requested information is protected by the attorney work product doctrine under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(3); (3) all of the information sought is protected by the federal official information privilege; (4) some of the information requested is protected by various California state laws. [Id. at 1-2.]

         III. BCSO Subpoena

         The BCSO Subpoena was served on BCSO on March 8, 2018. [BCSO Contempt Motion, Decl. of Counsel (“BCSO Contempt Decl.”), Exh. D (executed Process Receipt and Return).] On September 25, 2018, the Court forwarded to Defendant's standby counsel the responsive documents received from BCSO. [BCSO Contempt Decl., Exh. E.] These included the BCSO Criminal Investigation Division's Standard Operating Procedures and a Communication Management Report. [Id. at 12-18.[2]

         IV. Motion to Sever

          In the Motion to Sever, Defendant argued that proceeding with a joint trial would be unfairly prejudicial to him as Defendants Anabel Cabebe (“Cabebe”) and Barbara Williams may refuse to testify in a joint trial but would be likely to testify in his favor in a severed trial. The Government opposed the Motion to Sever, arguing that a joint trial was proper because each Defendant was charged regarding the “same series of acts or transactions” and all three Defendants were “part of the same common plan, scheme, and ...


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