U.S. v. Male Juvenile (95-CR-1074), CR-1074

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
Writing for the CourtMESKILL; JON O. NEWMAN
Citation121 F.3d 34
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. MALE JUVENILE (95-), Defendant-Appellant. ocket 96-1637.
Decision Date28 July 1997
Docket NumberNo. 1364,CR-1074,D

Page 34

121 F.3d 34
UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,
v.
MALE JUVENILE (95-CR-1074), Defendant-Appellant.
No. 1364, Docket 96-1637.
United States Court of Appeals,
Second Circuit.
Argued May 1, 1997.
Decided July 28, 1997.

Timothy Macht, Assistant United States Attorney, Eastern District of New York (Zachary W. Carter, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Peter A. Norling, Assistant United States Attorney, Eastern District of New York, Brooklyn, NY, of counsel), for Appellee.

Before: MESKILL and NEWMAN, Circuit Judges, and McAVOY, District Judge. *

MESKILL, Circuit Judge:

In this appeal we must decide whether a juvenile knowingly and voluntarily waived his rights set forth in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966), before confessing to taking part in a robbery within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States. Defendant, a juvenile, appeals from a judgment of conviction in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Korman, J. Defendant was charged with theft of property by force and violence within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2111 after confessing to government authorities that he was a "lookout" during the commission of a robbery on the Fort Hamilton United States Army Base in Brooklyn, New York. Because defendant was under the age of eighteen during the commission of the crime, the government proceeded against defendant under the Juvenile Delinquency Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 5031-5042. Before trial, defendant moved to suppress his confession. The motion to suppress was referred to Magistrate Judge Joan M. Azrack who, after an evidentiary hearing, recommended denying the motion. Defendant never filed an objection to the magistrate judge's report. At a bench trial, the district court reviewed the motion to suppress de novo and denied the motion. Based primarily on defendant's confession, the district court found defendant guilty of the crime charged. The district court adjudicated defendant as a juvenile delinquent and sentenced him to probation. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 5031, 5037(b). On appeal, defendant contends that the district court erroneously denied the motion to suppress his confession and that, therefore, his conviction should be reversed. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the district court.

BACKGROUND

District Court's Findings of Fact

The following is a summary of the district court's findings of fact. In October 1995, two

Page 36

men, one of whom was armed, robbed a Burger King restaurant located on the Fort Hamilton United States Army Base in Brooklyn, New York. The men held the restaurant's manager at gunpoint and stole $1,083 from a safe in the manager's office. Military Police (MP) Investigator Michael Canter responded to the scene and noticed defendant, then a sixteen year old juvenile, standing outside the Burger King with several friends.

Canter initially met defendant several weeks before the robbery when defendant sought Canter's help. On that occasion, defendant and his family met with Canter and asked if he could protect defendant from gang-related violence. At that meeting, defendant supplied Canter with information about local gang-related activity, and Canter agreed not to use this information against defendant. After that meeting, Canter considered defendant a confidential informant.

On the night of the robbery, Canter approached defendant and jokingly said, "That's it, get to the station." Defendant apparently did not understand the remark as a joke and proceeded to the MP station. When Canter arrived back at the MP station, he was surprised to find defendant there. Canter used the opportunity to ask defendant if he could gather any information about the robbery. Five days later, Canter asked defendant to meet him at the station to disclose any information he had collected concerning the robbery. Defendant agreed and returned to the station on the same day.

Canter and Anthony Hernandez, also an MP investigator, brought defendant to an interview room. Both Canter and Hernandez informed defendant that "he was just there for information gathering purposes," and that he was not in trouble. Some time during the interview, both investigators were required to assist in an unrelated matter and left the room. Defendant was asked to wait in the hallway, at which time he telephoned his mother and asked her to come to the station. When defendant's mother arrived at the station, Canter and Hernandez assured her that defendant was not in trouble. Hernandez also asked her to agree to permit the detectives to interview defendant outside her presence. She agreed and remained in the hallway during the interview.

When the interview resumed, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent Anthony Nelson, who was also investigating the robbery of the Burger King, joined Hernandez and another MP and sat behind defendant while Hernandez began asking defendant for information about the robbery. 1 While Hernandez questioned defendant, Nelson observed that defendant "was beginning to cry" and "was hesitant to respond to some of the questions which were just of a general nature." Nelson testified that, based on these observations, "it occurred to me that he probably may have had some role in the robbery and I decided I was going to read him his rights and take over the interview." At that point, Nelson moved his chair in front of defendant, informed him that he was an FBI agent, and showed defendant his credentials. Nelson then explained defendant's Miranda rights by stating that defendant "didn't have to say anything to [Nelson], [and] that whatever he said could be used against him." Nelson also informed defendant that he was entitled to a lawyer, and that if he could not afford a lawyer, Nelson could arrange to have a lawyer appointed to represent defendant. When asked if he understood his rights, defendant answered in the affirmative. In addition, Nelson told defendant that he could step out into the hallway and speak to his mother. Defendant declined the invitation to speak to his mother.

During this explanation of defendant's rights, Agent Nelson also explained to defendant that "no matter what he said to me, that he was going to be allowed to leave that evening." Nelson admitted that he made this promise in part "to get [defendant] to open up and speak to [him]." 2

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Using an FBI "Interrogation and Advice of Rights" form, Nelson then formally read defendant his Miranda rights, stopping after each right was read and asking defendant if he understood it. Defendant indicated he understood his rights and Nelson and Hernandez both testified that defendant showed no sign of confusion. Nelson then asked defendant if he was still willing to answer questions, and defendant agreed he was. Nelson also testified that, after he gave the FBI form to defendant, defendant appeared to read the form before signing it. According to Nelson, defendant then told the detectives that he had acted as a "lookout" during the robbery. Defendant also provided the detectives with the names of other participants in the robbery.

After defendant confessed to his role in the robbery, the investigators permitted defendant to go home with his mother. However, defendant was arrested several days later and charged with theft of property by force and violence within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2111.

Motion to Suppress

Before trial, defendant moved to suppress his confession on the grounds that he did not knowingly and voluntarily waive his Miranda rights and that his confession was given involuntarily. The motion to suppress was referred to Magistrate Judge Azrack pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) for a hearing and a report and recommendation.

At that hearing, Detectives Canter and Hernandez and FBI Agent Nelson testified to the events surrounding defendant's confession. The defense called defendant's mother, who testified that defendant had been in special education since first grade and that his reading comprehension was at a second grade level. Defendant's mother admitted that her son never complained to her that he was confused during the questioning that led to his confession.

Based on the testimony of all the witnesses, defendant argued that his learning and comprehension disabilities, combined with the coercive nature of the interrogation and promises of leniency, rendered his confession and waiver of his Miranda rights unknowing and involuntary. The magistrate judge disagreed and recommended that the motion to suppress be denied. The magistrate judge found that (1) defendant was not in custody when he confessed, and (2) the defendant's waiver and confession were given knowingly and voluntarily. The magistrate judge recommended, therefore, that the motion to suppress be denied. At the conclusion of the magistrate judge's Report and Recommendation, the magistrate judge warned the parties that "[a]ny objections to this Report and Recommendation must be filed with the Clerk of the Court ... within ten (10) days of receipt of this Report. Failure to file objections within the specified time waives the right to appeal the District Court's order." Defendant never objected to the magistrate judge's recommendation to the district court.

However, rather than simply accepting the findings of fact and recommendation of the magistrate judge without review, the district court considered anew the motion to suppress. The court conducted a non-jury trial but, before deciding the guilt or innocence of defendant, redetermined the admissibility of the confession. The court heard testimony from Canter, Hernandez and Nelson on the events surrounding the robbery and confession. The district court also heard the testimony of defendant's mother regarding defendant's learning and comprehension disabilities.

Based on this evidence,...

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1338 practice notes
  • Dacosta v. City of N.Y., 15–CV–5174
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • November 8, 2017
    ...novo review even without receiving objections within the allotted fourteen-day window. See United States v. Male Juvenile (95–CR–1074) , 121 F.3d 34, 39 (2d Cir. 1997) ("Although defendant did not object to the magistrate judge's recommendation ... [t]he record indicates that the district c......
  • Lipkin v. U.S. S.E.C., No. 06 CIV.0939 RJH.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • December 22, 2006
    ...de novo those portions of the report to which objection is made. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C) (2006); United States v. Male Juvenile, 121 F.3d 34, 38 (2d Cir.1997). However, "[i]f no objections are filed, or where objections are merely perfunctory responses, argued in an attempt to engage t......
  • United States v. Gomez, 15 Cr. 348 (PGG)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • July 29, 2016
    ...level of comprehension may a court properly conclude that the Miranda rights have been waived.’ " United States v. Male Juvenile, 121 F.3d 34, 40 (2d Cir.1997) (quoting Moran, 475 U.S. at 421, 106 S.Ct. 1135 ). "The government bears the burden of demonstrating by a preponderance of the evid......
  • Hollaway v. Colvin, 14 Civ. 5165 (RA)(HBP)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • January 8, 2016
    ...IN A WAIVER OF OBJECTIONS AND WILL PRECLUDE APPELLATE REVIEW. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 155 (1985); United States v. Male Juvenile, 121 F.3d 34, 38 (2d Cir. 1997); IUE AFL-CIO Pension Fund v. Herrmann, 9 F.3d 1049, 1054 (2d Cir. 1993); Frank v. Johnson, 968 F.2d 298, 300 (2d Cir. 1992); ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1334 cases
  • Dacosta v. City of N.Y., 15–CV–5174
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • November 8, 2017
    ...novo review even without receiving objections within the allotted fourteen-day window. See United States v. Male Juvenile (95–CR–1074) , 121 F.3d 34, 39 (2d Cir. 1997) ("Although defendant did not object to the magistrate judge's recommendation ... [t]he record indicates that the district c......
  • Lipkin v. U.S. S.E.C., No. 06 CIV.0939 RJH.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • December 22, 2006
    ...de novo those portions of the report to which objection is made. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C) (2006); United States v. Male Juvenile, 121 F.3d 34, 38 (2d Cir.1997). However, "[i]f no objections are filed, or where objections are merely perfunctory responses, argued in an attempt to engage t......
  • United States v. Gomez, 15 Cr. 348 (PGG)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • July 29, 2016
    ...level of comprehension may a court properly conclude that the Miranda rights have been waived.’ " United States v. Male Juvenile, 121 F.3d 34, 40 (2d Cir.1997) (quoting Moran, 475 U.S. at 421, 106 S.Ct. 1135 ). "The government bears the burden of demonstrating by a preponderance of the evid......
  • Hollaway v. Colvin, 14 Civ. 5165 (RA)(HBP)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • January 8, 2016
    ...IN A WAIVER OF OBJECTIONS AND WILL PRECLUDE APPELLATE REVIEW. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 155 (1985); United States v. Male Juvenile, 121 F.3d 34, 38 (2d Cir. 1997); IUE AFL-CIO Pension Fund v. Herrmann, 9 F.3d 1049, 1054 (2d Cir. 1993); Frank v. Johnson, 968 F.2d 298, 300 (2d Cir. 1992); ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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