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United States v. Moore

United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division

April 19, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
PAUL TRAMMELL MOORE, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          WILLIAM S. DUFFEY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant Paul Trammell Moore's (“Defendant”) pro se Motion to Terminate Fine [3] (“Motion”).[1]

         I. BACKGROUND

         On July 19, 2007, Defendant was sentenced in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin to one hundred forty-four (144) months incarceration with five (5) years of supervised release, after being found guilty by a jury of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine and Cocaine Base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A) and 846. ([1.3]). The Court imposed a fine of $12, 000.00. (Id. at 5).

         On June 14, 2013, this Court accepted jurisdiction of this matter and the case was transferred to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. ([1]).

         On March 17, 2017, Defendant filed his pro se Motion to Terminate Fine. Defendant states that he has paid over ninety (90) percent of his fine obligation and requests that the Court excuse the remaining balance. (Mot.). Defendant states that he has recently been making “triple” payments toward his fine, but that his wife is not working and his “job is slow.” (Id.).

         On April 6, 2017, the Government filed its Response in Opposition to Defendant's Motion [6]. The Government states that the Court should deny the Motion because the Court lacks jurisdiction to dismiss the remaining fine balance. The Government argues that the dismissal of the remaining fine balance would constitute a modification to the sentence, which the Court is not authorized to do in this situation. The Government also included Defendant's payment history toward his fine. ([6.2]). As of March 31, 2017, there is a balance of $3, 013.23 remaining on the fine. (Id.).

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Legal Standard

         The Court is permitted to modify a Defendant's sentence, after it has been imposed, only where expressly permitted by 18 U.S.C. § 3582 (“Section 3582”). United States v. Phillips, 597 F.3d 1190, 1194-95 (11th Cir. 2010). The Court lacks “inherent power” to re-sentence a defendant. Id. at 1196-97.

         Section 3582 authorizes the modification of a sentence

(1) where the Bureau of Prisons has filed a motion and either extraordinary and compelling reasons warrant a reduction or the defendant is at least 70 years old and meets certain other requirements; (2) where another statute or Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 35[2] expressly permits a sentence modification; or (3) where a defendant has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment based on a sentencing range that was subsequently lowered by the Commission and certain other requirements are met.

Id. at 1195 (internal citation omitted) (citing 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)).

         “A fine is an independent part of a defendant's sentence, ” and is not a condition of supervised release. United States v. Akinrosotu, 637 F.3d 165, 167 (2d Cir. 2011). A district court does not have the authority to modify or dismiss a fine under 18 U.S.C. § 3583 which “allows a district court, in certain instances, to modify, reduce, or enlarge the conditions of supervised release.” United States v. Morales, 328 F.3d 1202, 1204 (9th Cir. 2003) (internal quotations omitted). A district court may modify the payment schedule of a fine upon notice from a defendant “of ...


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