United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
H.L. Perez Montes United States Magistrate Judge
Director of the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP")
Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles, California
filed a motion for a 15 day extension of time in which to
conduct Defendant's psychiatric evaluation. That motion
Cristina Santos is charged in an indictment with federal
felony drug offenses, and is currently a pretrial detainee.
Pursuant to Santos's request, the Court ordered: (1) an
evaluation of Santos's mental competency to stand trial;
and (2) an insanity evaluation. The evaluations are to be
performed by the Bureau of Prisons, in a Bureau of Prisons
order for evaluation was issued by this Court on February 26,
2018 (Doc. 208). According to a May 14, 2018 letter from
Warden Milusnic of the Metropolitan Detention Center, the BOP
did not designate a treatment facility for Santos until April
18, 2018. Santos arrived at the Metropolitan Detention Center
on May 3, 2018. Warden Milusnic now asks for an additional 15
days in which to evaluate Santos, pursuant to 18 U.S.C.
Law and Analysis
The delay in transporting Santos for her psychiatric
examination was presumptively unreasonable and may not be
Milusnic's letter left the undersigned wondering why it
took over two months, after this Court ordered that Santos be
evaluated, for that evaluation to begin. The Court ordered
the 45 days for evaluation begin on the date she arrived at
the facility for evaluation. However, it was never the
Court's intention to give the BOP an unlimited amount of
time in which to begin that evaluation.
is a statutory directive for this situation. Title 18 U.S.C.
§ 3l6l(h)(1)(F) provides for a 10-day delay, excluded
from the Speedy Trial time limit, for transportation of a
defendant to and from places of examination or
hospitalization. "[A]ny time consumed in excess
of 10 days from the date of the order directing such
transportation and the Defendant's arrival at the
destination is presumed to be unreasonable...". See 18
U.S.C. § 3l6l(h)(1)(F).
same situation arose in U.S. v. Turner, 602 F.2d
778, 785 (6th Cir. 2009). In Turner, the court held
the government did not rebut the presumption that it should
not take more than 10 days to transport an inmate from a
prison to the site of a competency examination. The court
further found the government failed to request an
ends-of-justice continuance to find a placement and transport
the defendant. The Sixth Circuit stated that, under §
3l6l(h)(F), any time over 10 days spent transporting the
defendant to his psychiatric examination is considered
unreasonable. See Turner, 602 F.3d at 786 (citing
United States v. Castle. 906 F.2d 134, 137 (5th Cir.
I99O) (ordinary institutionalized delay is not an excuse)).
Castle, 906 F.2d at 137, the Fifth Circuit held the
22-day delay between the order for a psychiatric evaluation
and the defendant's arrival at the place where the
evaluation would take place was not reasonable, and that that
presumption of unreasonableness could not be rebutted by a
showing of diligent effort. See also U.S. V. Taylor.
821 F.2d 1377, 1384, n.10 (9th Cir. 1987), rev'd on other
grounds, 487 U.S. 326 (1988) (delays in transportation, to
accommodate the government in its desire to effect economical
transportation of prisoners in larger groups, are not
excludable under the Speedy Trial Act); U.S. v.
Hernandez-Amparan. 600 F.Supp.2d 839, 842 (W.D. Tex.
case, there was a 65-day delay between the order for
evaluations and Santos's arrival at the facility for
evaluation. Neither the BOP nor the Assistant United States
Attorney requested a continuance. As § 3l6l(h) states,
the delay beyond 10 days is presumed to have been
unreasonable. Therefore, the 10 days from February 27 through
March 8, 2018 are excludable from the Speedy Trial Act
limits. March 9 through May 3, 2018, or 55 days, may not be
parties are directed to file briefs on or before June 12,
2018, addressing ...