United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
VICTORIA A. ROBERTS DISTRICT JUDGE.
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
COMPEL DISCOVERY 
K. MAJZOUB UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Donta
Stewart's Motion to Compel Discovery. (Docket no. 19.)
Plaintiff United States of America responded to
Defendant's Motion (docket no. 22), and Defendant replied
to Plaintiff's Response (docket no. 23). The Motion has
been referred to the undersigned for consideration. (Docket
no. 20.) The Court has reviewed the pleadings and dispenses
with oral argument pursuant to Eastern District of Michigan
Local Rule 7.1(f)(2). The Court is now ready to rule pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A).
was arrested on August 20, 2016, while attending a block
party. Officers Adam Szklarsky, William Zeolla, and Martel
Reed of the Detroit Police Department were on routine patrol
in a marked police car when, at about 12:45 a.m., they
observed the party and stopped to investigate. (Docket no. 19
at 5.) Officer Szklarsky allegedly saw Defendant discard a
handgun under a nearby car as the officers pulled up. Officer
Zeolla then got out of the police car and allegedly retrieved
the gun from underneath the car. The officers confirmed that
Defendant was not a concealed pistol license holder and
arrested him. They did not take any witness statements at the
scene or record their interactions with Defendant.
(Id. at 5-6.)
Shannon Richardson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms, and Explosives later determined that Defendant had
been convicted of felony armed robbery and felony carjacking
in 2008, and that the handgun had “previously travelled
in interstate commerce.” (Docket no. 1 at 3.) On
October 13, 2016, Defendant was indicted on one count of
being a felon in possession of a firearm, a violation of 18
U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). (Docket no. 15.) On November 2,
2016, Defendant filed the instant Motion to Compel. (Docket
his Motion to Compel, Defendant seeks a court order
compelling Plaintiff to “conduct an initial review of
the three officers' disciplinary files, ” and to
produce “all potentially exculpatory evidence”
which Plaintiff discovers therein, “before [Defendant]
is expected to make a decision about whether to go to
trial.” (Docket no. 19 at 12.)
is no general constitutional right to discovery in a criminal
case.” Weatherford v. Bursey, 429 U.S. 545,
559 (1977). Rather, the discovery available to a criminal
defendant is generally limited to those areas set forth in
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 16 as well as to material
whose disclosure is required under Brady v.
Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) and the Jencks Act, 18
U.S.C. § 3500. United States v. Presser, 844
F.2d 1275, 1285 n.12 (6th Cir. 1988).
v. Maryland holds that a defendant's due process
rights are violated when the government withholds evidence
favorable to the defendant that is material to guilt or
sentencing. Brady, 373 U.S. at 87. The
Brady rule extends to evidence which could be used
to impeach the credibility of a government witness
“when the reliability of a given witness may well be
determinative of guilt or innocence.” Giglio v.
United States, 405 U.S. 150, 153-54 (1972) (citation and
internal quotation marks omitted). Evidence is material under
Brady and Giglio “when there is a
reasonable probability that, had the evidence been disclosed,
the result of the proceeding would have been
different.” Cone v. Bell, 556 U.S. 449, 470
(2009) (citing United States v. Bagley, 473 U.S.
667, 682 (1985)).
Supreme Court has made clear that the Brady rule is
not an evidentiary rule which grants broad discovery powers
to a defendant.” United States v. Todd, 920
F.2d 399, 405 (6th Cir. 1990). “The Court also has made
it clear that while the Brady rule imposes a general
obligation upon the government to disclose evidence that is
favorable to the accused and material to guilt or punishment,
the government typically is the sole judge of what evidence
in its possession is subject to disclosure.”
Presser, 844 F.2d at 1281.
regarding personnel files, the Sixth Circuit has held that
the Government is not obligated to produce personnel files of
testifying agents for impeachment purposes based solely upon
the defendant's speculation that the files may contain
impeaching or material information. See United States v.
Driscoll, 970 F.2d 1472 (6th Cir. 1992), abrogated
on other grounds by Hampton v. United States, 191 F.3d
695 (6th Cir. 1999). Hence, a defendant must base his request
for personnel files on more than mere conjecture that the
files might contain information important to his case.
Id. at 1482.
as for the timing regarding disclosure of Brady or
Giglio materials, the Supreme Court has expressly
held that the Constitution does not require “preguilty
plea disclosure of impeachment information.”
United States v. Ruiz, 536 U.S. 622, 629 (2002)