U.S. v. Huguenin, 90-1591

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore CAMPBELL, SELYA and CYR; PER CURIAM
Citation950 F.2d 23
Parties-5902, 60 USLW 2369, 91-2 USTC P 50,571 UNITED STATES, Appellee, v. Roland Leon HUGUENIN, Defendant, Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 90-1591,90-1591
Decision Date06 January 1992

Page 23

950 F.2d 23
68 A.F.T.R.2d 91-5902, 60 USLW 2369,
91-2 USTC P 50,571
Roland Leon HUGUENIN, Defendant, Appellant.
No. 90-1591.
United States Court of Appeals,
First Circuit.
Submitted Dec. 19, 1990.
Decided Nov. 19, 1991.
Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc Denied Jan. 6, 1992.

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Roland Leon Huguenin, pro se.

Lincoln C. Almond, U.S. Atty., and Margaret E. Curran, Asst. U.S. Atty., on brief for appellee.

Before CAMPBELL, SELYA and CYR, Circuit Judges.


The appellant, Roland L. Huguenin, was convicted by a jury on three counts of attempting to evade and defeat the federal income tax in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201. On appeal, Huguenin raises eleven arguments, of which we will discuss only three: (1) that the indictment was duplicitous, (2) that Huguenin was wrongfully subjected to a competency examination, and (3) that he was wrongfully denied an opportunity to obtain information about the prospective jurors pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 6103(h)(5). The other eight arguments range from the discarded 1 to the frivolous; 2 as none is of any substance, we need comment no further.

1. Duplicity

Huguenin contends that the indictment was defective because it was duplicitous, that is, because it charged more than one offense in a single count. 8 Moore's Federal Practice p 8.04 (2d ed.). Count one of the indictment alleged:

That during the calendar year 1984, ROLAND LEON HUGUENIN, a resident of Burrillville, Rhode Island, had and received adjusted gross income in the sum of $30,567.17; that upon said adjusted gross income there was owing to the United States of America an income tax of $4,459.00; that well-knowing and believing the foregoing facts, ROLAND LEON HUGUENIN, on or about April 16, 1985, in the District of Rhode Island, did willfully attempt to evade and defeat the said income tax due and owing by him to the United States for said calendar year by failing to make an income tax return on or about April 16, 1985, as required by law, to any proper officer of the Internal Revenue Service, by failing to pay to the Internal Revenue Service said income tax, and by filing a false W-4 form (Withholding Allowance Certificate) on or about March 6, 1984, with his employer, in which he stated that in both the previous year (1983) and the current year (1984) he did not owe any tax and had a right to a full tax refund, and filing an affidavit on or about September 30, 1987, with his employer, in which he swore that he was exempt from withholding with respect to income taxes because he had no income tax liability for the preceding year and he anticipated no income tax liability for the current year.

The other two counts are virtually identical to count one except for some of the

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allegations about dates and the amounts of money involved.

Pointing to Sansone v. United States, 380 U.S. 343, 354, 85 S.Ct. 1004, 1011, 13 L.Ed.2d 882 (1965), Huguenin contends that his indictment is duplicitous because it contains allegations that could be interpreted to charge him with both evasion-of-payment and evasion-of-assessment. 3 We see no merit to this contention, since we can, as we recently did with respect to a similar indictment in United States v. Waldeck, 909 F.2d 555, 558 (1st Cir.1990), characterize Huguenin's indictment as one in which the elements of evasion-of-payment are "overborne" by the "clear and unequivocal" evasion-of-assessment charges. No matter how one resolves the semantic question, moreover, it is beyond reasonable dispute that the indictment charged Huguenin with a single, cognizable crime, and that the jury convicted him of the same crime. See United States v. Dunkel, 900 F.2d 105, 107 (7th Cir.1990). This case therefore raises none of the concerns underlying the prohibition against duplicitous indictments. See United States v. Saleh, 875 F.2d 535, 537 (6th Cir.1989) (vice of duplicity is that a jury may find defendant guilty on the count without having reached a unanimous verdict on the commission of any particular offense). See also 8 Moore's Federal Practice p 8.03 (other concerns underlying prohibition against duplicity include protection of defendant's right to notice of the nature and cause of the proceedings against him, so that he may effectively prepare a defense).

2. Competency

On October 13, 1989 the district court held a hearing on Huguenin's appeal of a magistrate's denial of his motion to vacate the arraignment order. At the hearing, Huguenin refused to acknowledge his presence or to identify himself, and challenged the court's jurisdiction over him and his case. After denying the appeal as frivolous, the court noted for the record that it had "serious doubts as to [Huguenin's] competency to represent himself, and also serious doubt as to his full understanding of these charges, the seriousness of these charges, and what is about to occur." More specifically, the court said:

... I've read all the papers and all the filings that have been made by this defendant, and it raises serious doubts in my mind as to the competency of this defendant to stand trial. It seems to me that this defendant is engaged in a process that psychiatrists and psychologists call denial. He is out of touch with reality in this case. He seems to avoid the reality of these charges and these proceedings, and persists in a bizarre form of behavior, rejecting anything that occurs in these proceedings.

The district court did not immediately commit Huguenin to a federal facility for examination, but attempted first to arrange an evaluation by a psychiatrist located in Boston. Huguenin, however, showed up at the scheduled examination accompanied by several "witnesses," and refused to submit to the examination unless his companions were allowed to observe or he was allowed to tape record the session. After receiving the psychiatrist's report of this aborted encounter, the district court held a hearing and, on December 12, 1989, granted the government's motion to revoke bail and committed Huguenin for a determination of his competency to stand trial, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 4241 and 4247.

Some 77 days later, on February 26, 1990, Huguenin returned to court for a competency hearing. He represented himself, but was accompanied by stand-by counsel, who had been appointed by the court. The district court had by then received a competency report from federal psychiatric authorities which concluded, in the court's paraphrase, that "Mr. Huguenin

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is competent to stand trial and to defend himself." Neither Huguenin nor the government objected to the report or its conclusion; consequently, the district court reinstated bail. Responding to a request from Huguenin for a thirty-day extension "so I can put my material together and view it, consult with my standby counsel", the court put the case on its trial calendar for the end of March. The calendar call did not, in fact, come until April 11.

Huguenin raises several challenges to the manner in which the court conducted the proceedings to determine his competency, of which we think only two bear comment. First, he claims that the district court had no right to subject him to a competency examination without his consent. This is incorrect. The statute provides that the district court may order a competency examination--either on the government's motion or sua sponte, as well as at the defendant's request--when it has "reasonable cause" to believe that the defendant may not be competent to "understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or to assist properly in his defense." 18 U.S.C. § 4241(a). Requiring the defendant's consent (particularly where the defendant has chosen to represent himself) could very well defeat the purpose of the statute, since if the defendant is in fact incompetent, his decision to give or withhold consent to an examination cannot be considered valid. See United States v. Muncaster, 345 F.Supp. 970 (M.D.Ala.1972), aff'd 472 F.2d 1407 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 412 U.S. 963, 93 S.Ct. 3021, 37 L.Ed.2d 1011 (1973) (if defendant "is competent, [he] needs no examination, and the examination will not help [him] ...", while if he "is incompetent, [he] cannot make the decision, and [his] agreement thereto is void"). We think that Huguenin's sometimes bizarre behavior, which included a demand that the prosecutor and magistrate both be arrested, and his contention (in response to a direction that he obtain licensed rather than lay counsel) that there were no licensed lawyers in the State of Rhode Island, gave the court "reasonable cause" to invoke § 4241(a) and assure itself of Huguenin's competency before proceeding to trial.

Huguenin's second argument is that the court erred in allowing his commitment to extend to seventy-seven days. 18 U.S.C. § 4247(b) authorizes the court to commit a defendant for a competency...

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