292 F.3d 18 (1st Cir. 2002), 02-1583, U.S. v. Colon-Munoz

Docket Nº:02-1583
Citation:292 F.3d 18
Party Name:U.S. v. Colon-Munoz
Case Date:May 30, 2002
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

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292 F.3d 18 (1st Cir. 2002)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,


Ramiro L. COLON-MUNOZ, Defendant, Appellant.

No. 02-1583.

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

May 30, 2002

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Peter Goldberger on Emergency Motion for Stay of Voluntary Surrender and for Bail Pending Appeal for appellant.

Nelson Perez-Sosa, Assistant United States Attorney, and Jorge E. Vega-Pacheco, Chief, Criminal Division, on Opposition to Appellant's Motion for Stay of Voluntary Surrender and for Bail Pending Appeal for the United States.

Before BOUDIN, Chief Judge, SELYA and LIPEZ, Circuit Judges.

BOUDIN, Chief Judge.

In December 1996, Ramiro L. Colon-Munoz, was convicted on multiple federal charges relating to events that occurred when he was president of the Ponce Federal Bank in Puerto Rico. On appeal this court affirmed his convictions for conspiracy, misapplication of bank funds, bank fraud and related counts, 18 U.S.C. §§ 371, 657, 1006, 1344; but because this court ordered a judgment of acquittal on certain other counts, it remanded for resentencing of Colon-Munoz on the affirmed convictions. United States v. Colon-Munoz, 192 F.3d 210 (1st Cir. 1999), cert. denied, 529 U.S. 1055, 120 S.Ct. 1559, 146 L.Ed.2d 463 (2000).

Following remand, on September 13, 2000, Colon-Munoz filed a motion for a new trial, Fed.R.Crim.P. 33. The probation office prepared a new addendum to the presentence report, and the parties filed submissions in response. Thereafter, no action was taken on the new trial motion or the sentencing for over a year and a half. Accordingly, in early 2002, over five years after his conviction, Colon-Munoz remained free on bail and without a sentence. 1

On April 8, 2002, the Judicial Council of this circuit issued an order pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 332(d)(1) (1994). This order reflected the Judicial Council's concern with the backlog of cases that had developed in the docket of the district judge who had presided over the Colon-Munoz trial and had resumed authority over the case following this court's remand. The Judicial Council's order, which was not concerned in particular with the Colon-Munoz case, adopted several temporary measures to ameliorate the problem. One of these was to provide that a three-judge committee of the district court headed by the chief judge be authorized for a limited period to transfer criminal cases that had been pending before the district judge in question for more than two years, and civil cases pending for more than three years, where the committee determined that this would expedite resolution.

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On April 12, 2002, the committee entered an order directing that 24 long-pending criminal cases and a number of long-pending civil cases on the docket of the district judge in question be randomly reassigned to other judges. Among the former group was the Colon-Munoz matter. Shortly thereafter, the Colon-Munoz case was transferred by the district court clerk's office to a new district judge, randomly selected. Colon-Munoz then moved to retransfer the case.

On April 24, 2002, the successor judge denied the motion to retransfer and also denied the new trial motion. In denying the new trial motion, the successor district judge certified, see Fed.R.Crim.P...

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