Chazen, Todd v. Williams, Louis
ORDER granting petitioner's 8 Motion for An Order Authorizing Release of Documents. Petitioner is GRANTED leave to conduct discovery to obtain documents related to his criminal proceeding. Service on respondent to be made via U.S. Certif ied mail. Petitioner may have until 60 days from the date of this order to file and serve an amended petition or state that he declines to do so. Signed by District Judge James D. Peterson on 2/7/2018. (jef),(ps) (Additional attachment(s) added on 2/7/2018: # 1 Certified mail receipts) (jef).
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
TODD RICHARD CHAZEN,
LOUIS WILLIAMS, II,
Pro se petitioner Todd Richard Chazen, a federal prisoner incarcerated at the Federal
Correctional Institution in Oxford, Wisconsin, seeks a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241. Chazen contends that United States v. Mathis, 136 S. Ct. 2243 (2016), and Samuel
Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015), invalidate his sentence, which has been
enhanced under the Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984 (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). I
screened his petition, appointed him counsel, and indicated that he may amend the petition
with the assistance of counsel. Dkt. 5. Anticipating an amended petition, I did not direct service
of the original petition and explained that I would set the briefing schedule after reviewing the
amended petition. Id. at 5.
Now, through counsel, Chazen moves for authorization to release documents. Dkt. 8.
He seeks an order “authorizing the United States District Court and the United States
Probation Office for the District of Minnesota to release to [his counsel’s] office any and all
documents related” to his criminal proceeding, United States v. Chazen, No. 10-cr-332
(D. Minn. filed Nov. 2010). Id. at 1. I will grant Chazen’s motion to the extent that Chazen
requires my approval and authorize the release of the documents. But “[e]very court has
supervisory power over its own records and files,” Nixon v. Warner Commc’ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 589,
598 (1978), so my approval is necessarily subject to the discretion of the United States District
Court for the District of Minnesota.
I will also allow Chazen to seek the documents that he needs from respondent, who
may be in a better position to obtain the documents. To obtain discovery, the petitioner must
show (1) a colorable claim that the underlying facts, if proven, constitute a constitutional
violation; and (2) good cause for discovery. Tabb v. Christianson, 855 F.3d 757, 763 (7th Cir.
2017). I have already determined that Chazen has a colorable claim under Mathis and Samuel
Johnson, Dkt. 5, and Chazen has shown good cause for discovery: he needs the documents
pertaining to his sentencing to litigate his petition. I will direct service on respondent and allow
Chazen to conduct discovery. Should any dispute arises as to which documents Chazen may
obtain, the parties may file appropriate motions, but they should confer in good faith to avoid
unnecessary litigation. See United States v. Curry, 641 F. App’x 607, 610 (7th Cir. 2016).
I will also set the schedule on how this case should proceed. Chazen is now represented
by counsel, so I will allow him to amend his petition that he filed pro se. See Lieberman v. Budz,
No. 00-cv-2531, 2002 WL 1888396, at *3 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 16, 2002). (leave to amend should
be freely given once a pro se petitioner obtains counsel). I will set the briefing schedule below.
IT IS ORDERED that:
1. Service of petition. The clerk of court is directed to send copies of petitioner Todd
Richard Chazen’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus, Dkt. 1 and Dkt. 2, and the
order appointing counsel, Dkt. 5, to respondent at FCI-Oxford, the local United
States Attorney, and the United States Attorney General by certified mail, in
accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(i).
2. Motion for release of documents. Petitioner’s motion for authorization to release
documents is GRANTED.
3. Discovery. Petitioner is GRANTED leave to conduct discovery to obtain
documents related to his criminal proceeding, United States v. Chazen, No. 10-cr-332
(D. Minn. filed Nov. 2010).
4. Amended petition. Petitioner may have until 60 days from the date of this order
to file and serve an amended petition or state that he declines to do so.
5. Answer deadline. Within 30 days from the date of service of the amended petition
or the declination to amend the petition, respondent must file an answer to the
petition, showing cause, if any, why this writ should not issue.
6. Briefing schedule. The parties shall adhere to the following briefing schedule with
respect to petitioner’s claims:
a. Respondent must file a brief in opposition with his answer.
b. Once respondent files a brief in opposition, petitioner shall have 20 days
to file a reply if he wishes to do so.
Entered February 7, 2018.
BY THE COURT:
JAMES D. PETERSON
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