No. CR 17-08-BLG-SPW.


United States District Court, D. Montana, Billings Division.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Kevin Raymond Rucks, Defendant, represented by David A. Merchant, II , FEDERAL DEFENDERS OF MONTANA.

USA, Plaintiff, represented by Lori A. Harper Suek , U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE.


SUSAN P. WATTERS, District Judge.

Before the Court is Defendant Kevin Raymond Rucks' pro se motion for speedy trial. (Doc. 15). Rucks is represented by counsel. (Doc. 10). The Court will not address Rucks' pro se motion because he has not received permission from the Court to engage in hybrid representation.

A defendant has the right to represent himself in a criminal trial and the right to the assistance of counsel. United States v. Daniels, 572 F.2d 535, 540 (5th Cir.1978) (citations omitted). However, "a criminal defendant does not have an absolute right to both self-representation and the assistance of counsel." United States v. Bergman, 813 F.2d 1027, 1030 (9th Cir. 1987) (emphasis in original). In other words, "the right to counsel and the right to proceed pro se exist in the alternative." United States v. LaChance, 817 F.2d 1491, 1498 (11th Cir.1987); see also Locks v. Sumner, 703 F.2d 403, 407-08 (9th Cir.1983). Although a court may grant permission for hybrid representation, the decision to do so "rests in the sound discretion of the trial court." Bergman, 813 F.3d at 1030.

By filing his motion pro se, Rucks engages in hybrid representation without first seeking the Court's permission. Under such circumstances, "[a] district court has no obligation to entertain prose motions filed by a represented party." Abdullah v. United States, 240 F.3d 683, 686 (8th Cir. 2001). The Court declines to consider Rucks' motion for speedy trial. See, e.g., id. at 685 (noting that the district court did not err when it denied a represented defendant's prose motion without considering its contents); see also United States v. Tracy, 989 F.2d 1279, 1285 (1st Cir.1993) ("A district court enjoys wide latitude in managing its docket and can require represented parties to present motions through counsel. The district court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to consider [the defendant's] unsigned, prose motions.").

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Rucks' motion for speedy trial (Doc. 15) is DENIED.


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