United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND DETENTION ORDER
CARRILLO RAMIREZ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Special Order 3-251, before the Court is
Defendant's Motion to Reconsider Detention
Order, filed April 26, 2019 (doc. 17). Sidney Ray
Williams (Defendant) appeared in person and through counsel
for a hearing on May 15, 2019. Based on the relevant filings,
evidence of record in the prior detention hearing, and the
applicable law, the motion to reconsider is
GRANTED, and Defendant is ordered detained.
was charged by criminal complaint dated March 5, 2019, with
being a felon in unlawful and knowing possession of a firearm
in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). See United
States v. Williams, 3:19-MJ-224-BN (N.D. Tex.), doc. 1.
He was arrested in this district and made his initial
appearance on March 7, 2019. See id., doc. 4. The
Government moved to detain Defendant and for a continuance of
the hearing, and the court granted the motion and ordered
that Defendant be temporarily detained. See id.,
docs. 3, 7.
March 8, 2019, Defendant appeared in person and through his
appointed counsel for preliminary and detention hearings.
See id., doc. 8. Based on the testimony of the
Government's witness, the Court found probable cause to
believe that Defendant had committed the crime charged in the
complaint. See id., doc. 10. It found that a law
enforcement officer conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle
driven by Defendant on March 5, 2019, and observed that
Defendant appeared to be wearing body armor and tactical
gear, including two pistols and loaded handgun magazines.
Id. The officer confirmed that Defendant had a prior
felony conviction. Id. The two pistols turned out to
be paintball guns, but the magazines were loaded .45 caliber
handgun magazines, and Defendant had a single round of .9 mm
ammunition in his pocket. Id. The Court found that
marihuana was also recovered from the vehicle. Id.
Defendant was transported to the Dallas County Jail, and as
he was about to searched, he disclosed that he had a loaded
.45 caliber handgun in his vest. Id. The officer
located the loaded weapon, which had an obliterated serial
considering the testimony of the witnesses, the arguments,
the pretrial services report and the factors listed in 18
U.S.C. § 3142(g), the Court found that the Government
had met its burden to establish by clear and convincing
evidence that there is no condition or combination of
conditions which will reasonably assure the safety of the
community and ordered Defendant detained. Id.
(citing 18 U.S.C. § 3142 (f)(2) (setting forth standard
as clear and convincing evidence)). It noted that
Defendant's criminal history included convictions for
drugs, robbery, and possession of a weapon in a penal
institute, and in particular, it noted the fact that he had a
concealed loaded handgun while being transported to jail,
endangering the lives of the transporting officers.
seeks reconsideration of the order of detention to correct
alleged manifest errors of law and fact. (doc. 17 at 1.) He
contends that he was detained because he failed to volunteer
information that would incriminate him in violation of the
Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, and that the Court
erroneously found that he possessed marihuana at the time of
arrest. (Id. at 4-6.)
motions for reconsideration “are nowhere explicitly
authorized in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, they
are a recognized legitimate procedural device.”
United States v. Lewis, 921 F.2d 563, 564 (5th Cir.
1991) (citing United States v. Cook, 670 F.2d 46, 48
(5th Cir.), cert. denied, 456 U.S. 982 (1982));
see also United States v. Brewer, 60 F.3d 1142, 1143
(5th Cir. 1995) (“a motion for reconsideration ... is a
judicial creation not derived from statutes or rules”).
Courts have “continuing jurisdiction over criminal
cases and are free to reconsider [their] earlier
decisions.” United States v. Scott, 524 F.2d
465, 467 (5th Cir. 1975). In the context of criminal
proceedings, courts have applied the same legal standards as
for motions for reconsideration in civil cases. United
States v. Evans, No. 15-61, 2018 WL 6427854, at *2 (E.D.
La. Dec. 7, 2018); United States v. Cramer, No.
1:16-CR-26, 2018 WL 7821079, at *2 (E.D. Tex. Mar. 8, 2018);
United States v. Fisch, No. H-11-722, 2014 WL
309068, at *1 (S.D. Tex. Jan. 28, 2014).
motion for reconsideration challenges a final civil judgment,
it is treated either as a motion to alter or amend the
judgment under Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, or as a motion seeking relief from judgment under
Rule 60(b). Lavespere v. Niagara Mach. & Tool Works,
Inc., 910 F.2d 167, 173 (5th Cir.1990), abrogated on
other grounds by Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d
1069, 1076 n. 14 (5th Cir.1994). Where a motion challenges an
interlocutory order, it is considered under Rule 54(b).
Contango Operators, Inc. v. U.S., 965 F.Supp.2d 791,
800 (S.D. Tex. 2013). Rule 54(b) provides that “any
order or other decision, however designated, that adjudicates
fewer than all the claims or the rights and liabilities of
fewer than all the parties ... may be revised at any time
before the entry of a judgment adjudicating all the claims
and all the parties' rights and liabilities.” In
deciding motions under Rule 54(b), district courts looked to
Rule 59(e). See WorkSTEPS, Inc. v. ErgoScience,
Inc., 88 F.Supp.3d 752, 758 (W.D. Tex. 2015). It
“‘serve[s] the narrow purposes of allowing a
party to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present
newly discovered evidence.'” Templet v.
HydroChem Inc., 367 F.3d 473, 479 (th Cir. 2004)
(quoting Waltman v. Int'l Paper Co., 875 F.2d
468, 473 (5th Cir. 1989)). This is precisely the standard
that courts have used to consider motions for reconsideration
in the criminal context. See United States v.
Salinas, 665 F.Supp.2d 717, 720 (W.D. Tex. 2009)
(finding that motions for reconsideration in criminal cases
“serve the narrow purpose of allowing a party to
correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly
Fifth Circuit has more recently made clear in the civil
context, however, a “‘trial court is free to
reconsider and reverse [an interlocutory order or] decision
for any reason it deems sufficient, even in the absence of
new evidence or an intervening change in or clarification of
the substantive law.'” Austin v. Kroger Texas,
L.P., 864 F.3d 326, 336 (5th Cir. 2017) (quoting
Lavespere, 910 F.2d at 173). It has specifically
noted the flexibility in Rule 54(b), which reflects
courts' inherent power to provide relief from
interlocutory orders and decisions “‘as justice
requires.'” Id. at 337 (quoting Cobell
v. Jewell, 802 F.3d 12, 25-26 (D.C. Cir. 2015));
Cabal v. Brennan, 853 F.3d 763, 766 n. 3 (5th Cir.
2017). Given the Fifth Circuit's finding of district
courts' continuing jurisdiction over criminal cases and
freedom to reconsider earlier decisions, Scott, 524
F.2d at 467, this more flexible standard likewise appears
applicable in the context of a motion to reconsider a
Defendant claims that he was detained based on manifest
errors of law and fact because he failed to incriminate
himself in violation of his Fifth Amendment rights, and no
evidence was presented at the hearing to show that he
possessed marihuana at the time of arrest. He relies on the
oral explanation of why he was being detained at the
conclusion of the detention hearing to support his claim that
he was detained because he failed to volunteer
But the significant thing to me here is that you get pulled
over by a trooper who's clearly concerned that you've
got this body armor and what appears to be two weapons on
your belt, and they've confirmed that you've got
felony convictions, and you're holding a loaded weapon
inside your vest that you don't disclose until
you're about to get searched to be booked in.
That's a concern to me, ...because clearly you know
they're looking at it. It's a safety issue. You put
the lives of those officers in danger. You ran around
carrying a gun and marijuana, and that is -- that's a --