United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
WILLIAM M. RAY, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the Magistrate Judge's
Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) [Doc. 30]
recommending the Defendant be found NOT COMPETENT to stand
trial and be committed to the Attorney General for further
psychological evaluation. After consideration of the R&R,
together with the objections and response thereto [Docs. 32,
32-1, and 33], the Court finds and rules as follows.
March 4, 2019, the Magistrate Judge held a hearing on the
Government's motion for a mental health evaluation of
Defendant. (Doc. 18) After receiving evidence and argument
from the parties, the Magistrate Judge granted the
Government's motion and ordered Defendant to undergo a
mental health evaluation to determine whether he is competent
to stand trial in this case. (Doc. 22)
accordance with the Magistrate Judge's order, a forensic
psychologist, Dr. Judith Campbell, evaluated Defendant and
issued a written report detailing her medical opinion of
Defendant's competency. (Doc. 26-1, filed under seal).
Based on her evaluation and findings, Dr. Campbell primarily
diagnosed Defendant as having Schizoaffective Disorder,
Bipolar Type. (Id.) Dr. Campbell further opined that
Defendant's mental condition rendered him mentally
incompetent to the extent that he is unable to understand the
nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or to
assist properly in his defense. Accordingly, Dr. Campbell
concluded that Defendant is not currently competent to stand
the receipt of Dr. Campbell's Forensic Report and a
status conference regarding Defendant's competency (Doc.
24), the Magistrate Judge issued its R&R (Doc. 30), to
which Defendant has filed factual and legal objections.
(Docs. 32 and 32-1)
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), the Court reviews the R&R for
clear error if no objections are filed by either party within
14 days after service. If a party does file objections, the
Court must determine de novo any part of the findings and
conclusions of the R&R that is the subject of a proper
objection. Id; Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b).
Defendant objects to the Magistrate Judge's factual
finding that Dr. Campbell diagnosed Defendant with
Schizophrenic Disorder, Bipolar Type. (See Doc. 30, p. 5 at
¶ 12) Upon review of the evidence, the Court finds that
Dr. Campbell's Forensic Report indicates that she
diagnosed Defendant with Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar
Type. (Doc. 26-1, Forensic Report at p. 6) Accordingly, the
Court's Order shall reflect the correct diagnosis of
Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Type.
Defendant objects to the portion of the R&R which
recommends that Defendant be committed to the Attorney
General for “further evaluation.” (See Doc. 30,
at pp. 1 and 7) Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §4241(d)(1), a
defendant who is found to be incompetent is to be committed
to the custody of the Attorney General who “shall
hospitalize the defendant for treatment at a
suitable facility” in order “to determine whether
there is a substantial probability that in the foreseeable
future [the defendant] will attain the capacity to permit the
proceedings to go forward[.]” (Emphasis supplied.)
Therefore, the Court's Order shall reflect that Defendant
is to be committed to the Attorney General for “further
treatment” as set forth in §4241(d).
an Exhibit to Defendant's objections to the R&R,
defense counsel attached a copy of Defendant's personal
objection to the Magistrate Judge's conclusion that
Defendant is incompetent to stand trial. (Doc. 32-1) In this
objection, Defendant makes rambling, non-sensical arguments
and assertions in an attempt to support his beliefs that he
is not mentally ill and that he is being stalked and harassed
by the CIA and/or other governmental agencies. (Id.)
The Court finds that these very beliefs, and the facts he
asserts in an attempt to support them, lends even more
credence to Dr. Campbell's conclusion that Defendant has
a “grandiose delusional belief system” (Doc.
26-1, Forensic Report at p. 7) and that his “ability to
discuss his case rationally with his attorney is likely
impaired by his fixed delusional beliefs, which may interfere
with his ability to think clearly about the charges against
him.” (Id. at p. 8) The Court finds that the
evidence is more than sufficient to support the
recommendation that Defendant be deemed incompetent to stand
trial at this time.
considering the Magistrate Judge's R&R Report and
Recommendation [Doc. 30], Defendant's objections [Docs.
32 and 32-1], and the Government's response [Doc. 33],
the Court receives the R&R with approval and adopts its
findings and legal ...