Fragua v. Casamento et al
ORDER SHORTENING THE TIME FOR OBJECTIONS RE: 12 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS re 1 Petition for 2254 Relief filed by Alan Fragua by District Judge Robert C. Brack. (yc)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO
CV 16-1404 RB/WPL
AL CASAMENTO, Director,
Sandoval County Detention Center,
ORDER SHORTENING THE TIME FOR OBJECTIONS
The Proposed Findings and Recommended Disposition (“PFRD”), filed on May 8, 2017,
recommends granting Alan Fragua’s petition pursuant to 25 U.S.C. § 1303 for relief from a tribal
court conviction due to a structural defect, namely that Fragua was never advised of his right to a
jury trial. (Doc. 12.) The PFRD correctly recites that the parties have fourteen days in which to
file objections under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
Other courts have held that the fourteen-day (previously ten-day) objection period “may
be shortened where exigencies exist.” Hispanic Counseling Ctr., Inc. v. Incorporated Village of
Hempstead, 237 F. Supp. 2d 284, 290 (E.D.N.Y. 2002) (citing United States v. Barney, 568 F.2d
134, 136 (9th Cir. 1978)). In Hispanic Counseling Center, the Eastern District of New York
shortened the time in which to file objections due to “the time constraints in the plaintiffs’
contract to purchase the new building.” Id. In Barney, the Ninth Circuit upheld a shortened
period for objections due to the Court’s calendar. 568 F.2d at 136. In Sabal Trail Transmission,
LLC v. 7.72 Acres in Lee Cnty., AL, CASE NOS. 3:16-CV-173-WKW, 3:16-CV-174-WKW,
3:16-CV-175-WKW, 3:16-CV-176-WKW, 2016 WL 3450827 (M.D.Al. June 20, 2016) (slip
copy), the court upheld a shortened time period for objections “to permit sufficient time for the
court to consider objections prior to the . . . deadline for construction activities to commence,”
and found that “[t]ime is of the essence.” 2016 WL 3450827, at *1 n.4 (citing United States v.
Slowden, No. 11-60288-CR, 2012 WL 696597, at *8 (S.D. Fla. Feb. 16, 2012) (“Where
exigencies exist, a court may shorten the time for filing objections.”), recommendation adopted,
No. 11-60288-CR, 2012 WL 696399 (S.D. Fla. Mar. 1, 2012).
This case implicates a structural defect in a criminal conviction and the denial of a right
specifically provided in the Indian Civil Rights Act (“ICRA”), 25 U.S.C. § 1302(a)(10). The
denial of the right to a jury trial is a structural defect that requires automatic reversal. See
Sullivan v. Louisiana, 508 U.S. 275, 281-82 (1993).
Given the gravity of the situation, the Court finds that exigency exists and time is of the
essence. Therefore, the parties will file their objections to the PFRD, if any, by 5:00 p.m. on
May 12, 2017. If any party believes that they do not have sufficient time to file proper
objections, they must move the Court for an extension in advance of the 5:00 p.m. deadline. Any
motion for an extension must include a statement explaining the cause for delay and the general
basis of the objection.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
ROBERT C. BRACK
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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