United States of America v. O'Laughlin
ORDER denying 73 pro se motion for discharge under Section 4247(h); denying 74 pro se motion for discharge under Section 4247(h). Signed on 11/19/2020 by Magistrate Judge David P. Rush. (DO)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Before the Court are two pro se Motions received by the Court and filed on November 13,
2020. In the first motion, Defendant writes “Initiate 18 USCS 4247(h) discharge. A court order
for release from civil commitment due to there was never any supporting evidence to civilly
commit.” (Doc. 73.) In the second motion, he writes, “Initiate court order for a release from civil
commitment. File this petition/motion for 18 USCS 4247(h) discharge.” (Doc. 74.) Although the
second motion includes what appears to be the signature of Defendant’s attorney, David R. Mercer,
Mr. Mercer has advised the undersigned that it is not his original signature and that it appears to
be a copy from a separate pleading. Accordingly, the undersigned views the second motion as a
pro se pleading that was not filed by Defendant’s attorney. This matter has been referred to the
undersigned for processing and handling. Upon review, the motions will be denied without
prejudice as unauthorized by law.
Defendant is in custody at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota pursuant to
a civil commitment under 18 U.S.C. § 4246. On appeal, the Eighth Circuit affirmed Defendant’s
commitment, finding it factually supported. See United States v. O’Laughlin, 695 F. App’x 172
(8th Cir. 2017). As a result, Defendant may not personally file a motion for a hearing to determine
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whether he should be discharged. United States v. O’Laughlin, 934 F.3d 840, 841 (8th Cir. 2019)
(Section 4247(h) requires that “motions for release from civil commitment be filed by an attorney
or legal guardian for the committed person”), cert. denied, 140 S.Ct. 2535 (Mar. 23, 2020).
Furthermore, Defendant has counsel, who may file a motion requesting a discharge hearing, if
counsel deems it to be appropriate.
Accordingly, Defendant’s pro se Motions (docs. 73, 74) seeking discharge under 18 U.S.C.
§ 4247(h) are DENIED without prejudice as unauthorized by law. The Clerk’s Office is directed
to send a copy of this Order to Defendant via regular mail.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/ David P. Rush
DAVID P. RUSH
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
DATE: November 19, 2020
Case 6:15-cv-03419-BP Document 76 Filed 11/19/20 Page 2 of 2
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