Wednesday, September 28, 2011

U.S. v. Barraza-Lopez, No. 10-50280 (9-28-11) (Fisher with Pregerson and Berzon).

When is the Speedy Trial Act clock rewound with a dismissal without prejudice? This is a 1326 case where the charges against a defendant are dismissed without prejudice, only to be later refiled. The Act's time ran out if the first filing date is used; not if it was the latter. On appeal, the 9th holds that the Speedy Trial Act's 3161(b)'s 30-day clocks start ticking anew from the filing of the new charge. Recognizing the possibility in the statutory language for another interpretation (relate back), this interpretation comports with the interpretation of the other circuits, harmonizes the provisions of the Act, harmonizes the Sixth Amendment jurisprudence, conforms to the 70-day requirement for trial, and is supported by legislative history. If there are abuses by the government, or sloppiness, the court can curb with a dismissal with prejudice or through other means.


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