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In re Motion to Unseal Court Records

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

October 15, 2019

IN RE MOTION TO UNSEAL COURT RECORDS
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; YVONNE CAITANO; SHEENA STRONG; THERESA SALTUS; ERNEST BADE; MARIE BENEVIDES, Respondents. CIVIL BEAT LAW CENTER FOR THE PUBLIC INTEREST, Petitioner,

          ORDER GRANTING, IN PART, AND DENYING, IN PART, CIVIL BEAT LAW CENTER FOR THE PUBLIC INTEREST'S MOTION TO UNSEAL COURT RECORDS (ECF NO. 1)

          HELEN GILLMOR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         DOCUMENTS UNSEALED:

(1) November 6, 2018 Letter From Kevin K. Kurohara, M.D.
(2) November 9, 2018 Letter From William G. Herrera, M.D.
(3) January 10, 2019 Letter From William G. Herrera, M.D.
(4) May 27, 2019 Letter From Chinmoy Gulrajani, M.D.
DOCUMENT UNSEALED WITH REDACTIONS:
(5) May 27, 2019 Psychiatric Evaluation By Chinmoy Gulrajani, M.D.

         Petitioner Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest seeks to unseal court records relating to the mental competency evaluation of Ernest Bade in United States v. Ernest Bade; Yvonne Caitano; Sheena Strong; Marie Benevides; Theresa Saltus, 18-cr-00167 HG.

         Ernest Bade was charged with one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute and dispense controlled substances in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 and forty counts of unlawfully distributing and dispensing controlled substances in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C).

         On January 31, 2019, Ernest Bade, through his attorney Federal Public Defender Peter Wolff, filed a MOTION FOR COMPETENCY EVALUATION with Exhibits A, B, and C in support of the Motion. (ECF Nos. 76 and 80). He also filed an EX-PARTE MOTION TO SEAL EXHIBITS A-C IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR COMPETENCY EVALUATION. (ECF No. 77).

         On February 1, 2019, the Magistrate Judge granted Bade's Motion to Seal Exhibits A-C. (ECF No. 79).

         On March 6, 2019, the District Court Judge granted Bade's Motion for Competency Evaluation. (ECF No. 89).

         On March 28, 2019, the Court issued an ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT ERNEST BADE'S MOTION FOR COMPETENCY EVALUATION. (ECF No. 91). Dr. Chinmoy Gulrajani, M.D., was appointed to conduct a competency evaluation of Ernest Bade. (Id.)

         On June 5, 2019, the Court received a letter from Dr. Gulrajani with his attached Psychiatric Evaluation of Ernest Bade pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4241. (ECF No. 103). The letter and Psychiatric Evaluation were filed under seal.

         On June 6, 2019, the Court held a competency hearing. (ECF No. 104).

         On June 19, 2019, the Court issued an ORDER FINDING ERNEST BADE INCOMPETENT TO STAND TRIAL. (ECF No. 105).

         Petitioner Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest filed a Motion in this case seeking to unseal the records the Court relied upon in declaring Dr. Bade incompetent to stand trial. In particular, the request is to unseal the Psychiatric Evaluation by Dr. Gulrajani and three letters from Bade's treating doctors, attached as Exhibits A, B, and C to Defendant Bade's Motion for Competency Evaluation filed on January 31, 2019.

         Ernest Bade opposed Petitioner's Motion to Unseal.

         The Government filed a Statement of No. Position. None of Bade's co-defendants filed any response to Petitioner's Motion.

         On September 17, 2019, the Court held a hearing on Petitioner's Motion. The Court ordered the Federal Public Defender to submit his proposed redactions to the sealed exhibits and the Psychiatric Evaluation for in camera review. The Court has reviewed the proposed redactions.

         Petitioner's Motion to Unseal is GRANTED, IN PART, ...


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