USA v. Wade
Order on Motion for Miscellaneous Relief
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF ALASKA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
JOSHUA ALAN WADE,
Case No. 3:07-cr-00111-RRB-JDR
MOTION TO MODIFY
CONDITIONS OF CONFINEMENT
(Docket No. 971)
Defendant, Joshua Alan Wade, filed a Renewed Motion to Modify
Conditions of Confinement at Docket 971 and requested oral argument on the
motion. The Government filed its Response of the United States to Wade’s Motion
Seeking Removal from Segregation at Docket 989. A limited appearance was
permitted by Assistant Attorney General John K. Bodick.
Argument (under seal) was heard November 10, 2009 before the Magistrate Judge.
During the course of the hearing, the Defendant made an oral motion for an
evidentiary hearing on the issue of whether Defendant Wade’s administrative
confinement was interfering with his Constitutional right to assist counsel in
preparation of his defense and his Constitutional right to a fair trial.
The threshold issue before the Court at the hearing was whether the
Court has jurisdiction to entertain Defendant’s Renewed Motion.
HEREBY FINDS that this Court has jurisdiction to hear Mr. Wade’s claim regarding
whether his placement in administrative segregation materially affects his ability to
confer with his own counsel and to participate in trial preparation.1 The Court finds
that the issues exclusively related to conditions of confinement are outside the
jurisdiction of this Court and are properly addressed through administrative remedies
with the Department of Corrections or in a civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.2 Any
claims concerning the conditions of confinement cannot be brought in the federal
As the court in Bell v. Wolfish noted, “. . . the Due Process Clause
requires that pretrial detainees ‘be subjected to only those ‘restrictions and
United States v. Luong, No. CR. 99-433 WBS GGH, 2009 WL 2852111, at
*1 (E.D.Cal. Sept. 2, 2009) (“Such filings may be appropriate in a criminal
proceeding where defendant’s conditions of confinement affect his ability to consult
with counsel or exercise other trial rights.”).
The oral argument held by the Court regarding the Renewed Motion at
Docket 971 was not a hearing to handle an appeal by Defendant of his classification
of placement in administrative segregation. To the extent Defendant claims concern
the conditions of his confinement, they cannot be raised as part of his federal
criminal case. See United States v. Hollis, No. CR-F-08-276-OWW, 2009 WL
902062, at *1 (E.D.Cal. April 1, 2009) (“... [Defendant] cannot bring a civil rights
action based on the conditions of his present confinement in [jail] unless and until he
has completed administrative remedies provided by the [jail] for the processing of
grievances prior to filing suit.”).
privations’ which ‘inhere in their confinement itself or which are justified by
compelling necessities of jail administration.’”4 The presumption of innocence has
no application to a determination of the rights of a pretrial detainee during
confinement prior to trial.5
The Magistrate Judge finds that these rights are
adequately protected by the administrative remedies afforded to inmates as noted
in Procunier v. Martinez wherein the court held that “courts are ill equipped to deal
with the increasingly urgent problems of prison administration,’ and determined it
would “not [be] wise for [it] to second-guess the expert administrators on matters on
which they are better informed.”6
Mr. Wade argues that his current conditions of confinement are
improper. With the exception of the limited jurisdiction to hear argument on whether
the conditions prevent him from assisting his counsel in his defense, this Court will
not consider a motion regarding a request for a change in the conditions of his
confinement. As such, this Court will not address those issues raised by Mr. Wade.7
Acknowledging that the Court does have jurisdiction to consider whether
441 U.S. 520, 531 (1979); quoting Wolfish v. Levi, 573 F.2d 118, 124 (2nd
Bell, 441 U.S. at 531.
416 U.S. 396, 405 (1974).
In United States v. Hollis, the court held that claims regarding the defendant’s
“conditions of his confinement at the [jail] must be made in an appropriate civil rights
the conditions of Mr. Wade’s confinement prevent him from aiding his attorneys in
his defense and obtaining a fair trial, Mr. Wade must proffer some evidence to show
that he is, in fact, unable to effectively assist counsel due to the conditions of his
confinement. The burden of proof is on the moving party. Defendant must do more
than offer conclusory statements that the conditions of his confinement are affecting
his mental state and, therefore, his ability to assist counsel. To merely state that
Defendant is suffering from his confinement is not sufficient to meet Defendant’s
burden of going forward and to trigger an evidentiary hearing.
Should Defendant elect to pursue his request for an evidentiary hearing,
counsel should file a formal request for an evidentiary hearing with the Court and
proffer evidence beyond what was given at the oral argument on his Renewed
Motion regarding what he intends to prove at an evidentiary hearing. The Defendant
should proffer evidence demonstrating that the conditions of his confinement directly
adversely affect his ability to exercise his Constitutional rights in the federal case.
The Court will not consider evidence related solely to the conditions of confinement.
day of November, 2009, at Anchorage, Alaska.
/s/ John D. Roberts
JOHN D. ROBERTS
United States Magistrate Judge
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