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United States v. Brown

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

May 2, 2019

UNITED STATES
v.
TRACY RICHARDSON-BROWN

          ORDER AND REASONS

          SARAH S. VANCE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Defendant Tracy Richardson-Brown moves the Court to permit her to file a more definite statement in support of her previous motions.[1] The Court recharacterizes the motion as brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, and grants Richardson-Brown leave to withdraw or amend the motion pursuant to Castro v. United States, 540 U.S. 375 (2003).

         I. BACKGROUND

         On April 30, 2016, Richardson-Brown was convicted by a jury of 18 counts of conspiracy, healthcare fraud, and illegal renumeration.[2] On Aug us t II, 2016, Richardson-Brown was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 80 months.[3] She filed a timely notice of appeal, and the Fifth Circuit affirmed the verdicts on October 5, 2017.[4] Richardson-Brown then filed a motion for a new trial under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 33, [5] a second motion for a new trial, [6] a motion for appointment of counsel and appointment of an independent mental health expert, [7] and a motion for bond pending disposition of pending motions.[8] Those motions were all denied by Judge Kurt Englehardt on May 21, 2018.[9] Richardson-Brown now moves to file a “more definite statement” in support of these previously-denied motions.[10]She states that she brings these motions pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12 and 15.[11]

         II. DISCUSSION

         Richardson-Brown's invocation of Rules 12 and 15 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is improper because those rules do not apply in this instance. See United States v. McDorman, 305 Fed.Appx. 187, 189 (5th Cir. 2008) (“The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not apply to criminal cases.”

         (internal quotation omitted)). It is nonetheless clear from Richardson-Brown's motion that she wishes to collaterally attack her conviction and sentence.[12] The proper vehicle for doing so is a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. See Jeffers v. Chandler, 253 F.3d 827, 830 (5th Cir. 2001). Pursuant to Castro v. United States, 540 U.S. 375 (2003), Richardson-Brown is hereby notified that the Court will recharacterize this motion as a motion under Section 2255. This recharacterization means that any subsequent Section 2255 motion will be subject to the restrictions on “second or successive” motions. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h). The Court will therefore grant Richardson-Brown leave to either withdraw her motion or amend it so that it contains all of the Section 2255 claims she believes she has. Castro, 540 U.S. at 383.

         III. CONCLUSION

         For the foregoing reasons, the Court recharacterizes Richardson-Brown's motion as a collateral attack of her conviction and sentence under Section 2255. Richardson-Brown has 120 days from the date of this Order to either withdraw her motion or amend it to include all of the Section 2255 claims she wishes to include. Richardson-Brown's motion to submit additional evidence in support of her motion for a more definite statement will be considered in conjunction with her recharacterized motion.

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Notes:

[1] R. Doc. 344.

[2] R. Doc. 144-2.


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