United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
DENYING AS MOOT MOTION TO CLAIRFY [SIC] AND OR STRIKE
PREVIOUS MOTION SUBMITTED BY APPOINTED
COUNSEL ; DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE
MOVANT'S REQUEST TO REMOVE APPOINTED COUNSEL;
AND DIRECTING THE GOVERNMENT TO RESPOND TO
MOTION TO HOLD CASE IN ABEYANCE AND FOR
LEAVE TO FILE REPLY BRIEF ;
J. Tarnow Senior United States District Judge.
February 25, 2015, Movant Lorenzo Rumbley was charged via
superseding indictment [Dkt. 42] with four counts of
interference with commerce by robbery, in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 1951(a) and 18 U.S.C. § 2; and four counts
of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of
violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) and
§2. Mr. Rumbley pled guilty to Counts 3 and 4 -
interference with commerce by robbery and brandishing a
firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence,
respectively - on March 11, 2015. The Court sentenced
Defendant to 12 months' imprisonment on Count 3 and 84
months' imprisonment on Count 4, Count 4 to run
consecutive to Count 3.
April 26, 2016, Mr. Rumbley timely filed a Motion to Vacate
Sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 , in which he raised
two arguments: first, that his trial counsel rendered
ineffective assistance, in violation of his Sixth Amendment
right to counsel; and second, that Hobbs Act robbery does not
qualify as a crime of violence that can act as a predicate
for a conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), in light of
the Supreme Court's decision in Johnson v. United
States, 135 S.Ct. 2251 (2015). Because the Government
filed a Motion to Interview Defense Counsel Regarding
Privileged Matters , the Court determined that
appointment of counsel was necessary to ensure that any
waiver of Mr. Rumbley's attorney-client privilege was
truly knowing and voluntary. Mr. Rumbley's attorney,
Ellen Dennis, accepted appointment pursuant to the Criminal
Justice Act (CJA) on August 18, 2016.
Rumbley, by and through Ms. Dennis, filed a Supplemental
Brief  on December 19, 2016. The Government responded to
Mr. Rumbley's Motion to Vacate on February 16, 2017 .
On March 6, 2017, Mr. Rumbley, by and through Ms. Dennis,
filed a Motion to Hold Case in Abeyance and for Leave to File
Reply Brief .
Rumbley wrote to the Court on March 9, 2017 and April 4,
2017. In the first Letter , Mr. Rumbley
explained that the brief filed by counsel was incorrect and
contradicts his “original pro se brief.” He asked
the Court to strike both the Supplemental Brief  and the
“abeyance motion” and to “apply [the]
original pro se brief and allow [counsel] additional time to
respond.” In the second Letter , Mr. Rumbley
stated: “I have probably [sic] cause and reason to
believe that the government (prosecution) as well as my
attorney, Ellen Dennis, are guilty of conspiring against me
in the attempt to undermined [sic] my defense.” He also
asked the Court to “relieve my attorney from this case
and provide me the defendant the chance to submit a brief and
affidavit of fact that substantiate's [sic] my claim, or
provide me another attorney to defend my interest.”
of the cases cited in Movant's Supplemental Brief 
are pending in various courts: United States v.
Edmonson, No. 16-4426 (4th Cir. Jan. 24, 2017) is held
in abeyance pending the Supreme Court's decision in
Lynch v. Dimaya, 137 S.Ct. 31 (2016); and the Supreme
Court is currently considering whether to grant the petition
for writ of certiorari filed in United States v.
Taylor, 814 F.3d 340 (6th Cir. 2016). Therefore, a
response from the Government will help the Court resolve Mr.
Rumbley's motion to hold this case in abeyance. The
Government is directed to respond within 30 days after entry
of this Order. Moreover, given the uncertainty of the
aforementioned cases at this point, the Court believes that
it is to Mr. Rumbley's benefit to retain Ms. Dennis as
appointed counsel at this time. Finally, as stated in the
Court's August 17, 2016 Order , there is no need to
strike the Supplemental Brief  from the record, since the
Court may simply disregard the arguments presented.
IT IS ORDERED that the Government will file a response to
Movant's Motion to Hold Case in Abeyance and for Leave to
File Reply Brief  within 30 days after entry of this
FURTHER ORDERED that Movant's Motion to Clairfy [sic] and
or Strike previous Motion submitted by appointed counsel 
is DENIED AS MOOT.
FURTHER ORDERED that Movant's Request for the Court to
remove appointed counsel from this case is DENIED WITHOUT
Rumbley wishes to remove appointed counsel after the Court
has decided the Motion to Hold Case in Abeyance and for Leave
to File Reply Brief , he may file a motion with the Court
at that time.