Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Filho

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

March 28, 2017

United States of America,
v.
Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          Nathaniel M. Gorton, United States District Judge

         On August 5, 2015, defendant Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho (“defendant” or “Filho”) was indicted on three counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343. Pending before the Court is defendant's competency to stand trial and the government's motion for an evidentiary hearing with respect to the necessity of involuntary medication.

         In July, 2016, defendant's retained attorney, David Howard, filed a motion for a competency evaluation at the expense of the government. That motion was denied unless defendant submitted a financial affidavit demonstrating his indigence or filed an agreement with the government to share the cost of a proposed psychological evaluation by September 16. Filho submitted a financial affidavit on September 15.

         Also on September 15, 2016, Filho filed a motion, pro se, to remove his retained counsel and substitute new appointed counsel. A week later, on September 22, 2016, this session held a hearing on Filho's motion which the Court then allowed. Subsequently, attorney Stephen G. Huggard, defendant's current counsel, was appointed by the Court, pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act of 1964, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A.

         At a status conference held in October, 2016, the parties agreed that a competency hearing should be held. This Court appointed Dr. Julia M. Reade, one of two agreed-upon examiners, to conduct the evaluation. Dr. Reade conducted an examination and promptly submitted her report in which she concluded that defendant suffered from delusional disorder and, as a result, he could not 1) ably assist counsel in his defense or 2) make rational decisions with respect to his case. The government responded with affidavits from Dr. Russell George Vasile, the other agreed-upon evaluator, who questioned Dr. Reade's conclusions.

         Subsequently, in January, 2017, the government moved for a second evaluation. This Court allowed that motion and directed that defendant be placed in the custody of the United States Attorney General to undergo a second competency evaluation. That evaluation was conducted by forensic psychologist Dr. Chad Tillbrook. Dr. Tillbrook, like Dr. Reade, concluded that Filho suffers from delusional disorder which prevents him from making rational decisions with respect to his case. In light of that report, the government moved for an evidentiary hearing to determine whether defendant should be involuntarily medicated.

         I. Defendant's Competency to Stand Trial

         A. Legal Standard

         A defendant may only be subjected to trial if 1) “he has a sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding” and 2) “he has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him.” Dusky v. United States, 362 U.S. 402, 402 (1960) (per curiam).

         Such a determination is a “functional inquiry”. United States v. Widi, 684 F.3d 216, 220 (1st Cir. 2012). The Court can consider the opinions of the defendant, defendant's counsel and the evaluating doctors, as well as its own observations of the defendant. Id. at 220-21.

         B. Application

         The Court concludes that defendant is currently incompetent to stand trial. Two compelling facts support such a conclusion:

         1) At the hearing, neither party objected to the prospective finding that defendant is currently incompetent to stand trial.

         2) Both Drs. Reade and Tillbrook concluded that defendant suffers from a delusional disorder and thus is ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.