Sunday, April 8, 2007

U.S. v Carson (Maryland U.S.D.C.)(Not Approved for Publication)

Order Signed April 5, 2007--Magistrate Judge James K. Bredar. (Not approved for publication.)

On February 20, 2007, the Court entered an Order detaining the Defendant pending disposition of the criminal charges against him, pursuant to 18 USC §3141 et seq. (The Bail Reform Act). In light of the Defendants manifest health issues (the Defendant was a transgendered individual, infected with HIV), the Court entered another Order directing the United States Marshals Service and its contractors to evaluate specified medical problems reported by the Defendant and his lawyer and then to provide care and treatment consistent with the standard of care for the conditions revealed by the ordered examination.

Two weeks after the Defendant was remanded to the custody of the Marshal the Court was advised that the Defendant was not receiving necessary medication, and it became apparent that the Court's prior medical Order was being ignored. The Defendant requested that he be ordered released and, when the Government raised no objection to this proposed remedy for the failure to care for the Defendant, the Court granted the request. Frustrated by the noncompliance with the Medical Order, the Court went on to order the Marshals Service and its contractors to show cause why they should not be held in contempt for their apparent violation of the Order. A hearing was held on March 13, 2007.

That hearing revealed defects in process in addition to omissions by individuals. At the conclusion of the hearing the Court took the matter of contempt findings under advisement and directed that the Marshals Service and their contractors conduct a further investigation and then file with the Court a plan of action designed to insure that federal detainees will receive appropriate medical care in the future and, most importantly, will insure that there is good compliance with the Court's medical orders in the future.

The United States Marshals Service and the Maryland State Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services submitted their "Proposed Plan of Action" on March 27, 2007. The Court concluded that it now appears that there is a definite and precise procedure for insuring that federal detainees are presented to medical staff and that any relevant orders of this Court are transmitted to medical staff. The Court concluded that the imposition of any sanctions would not be productive and that further pursuit of contempt issues would not be useful at this time. However, the Court warned that:
The Marshals Service, the U.S. Attorney and the State are collectively charged with the responsibility to be vigilant and to insure that conditions do not again deteriorate to the deplorable state revealed at the hearing and by the subsequent investigation.

The Memorandum and Order are available in PDF.

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