United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RELEASE FROM GOVERNMENT
CUSTODY AS PREMATURE
L. LUDINGTON United States District Judge
Ameer Jan Kiani was charged with the felony offense of
Threats Against Former Presidents, 18 U.S.C. § 879. He
was found to be Not Guilty Only by Reason of Insanity of the
offense on May 5, 2015. ECF No. 19. Kiani was then committed
to the custody of the Attorney General until Kiani could
establish that his release would not create a substantial
risk of serious bodily injury to another or serious damage to
property of another. ECF No. 20. Kiani was hospitalized at
the Federal Medical Center - Devens in Massachusetts.
March 21, 2017, the Court received the Federal Medical
Center's Risk Assessment Panel Report for 2017. That
Report concluded that Kiani had recovered sufficiently to be
released, but only pursuant to a conditional release plan.
The Report did not provide a conditional release plan or
indicate whether one would be forthcoming from the Panel. On
April 18, 2017, the Court corresponded with the Panel. In the
letter, the Court explained that 18 U.S.C. § 4243
requires the director of the facility where a person has been
hospitalized to certify that the committed person no longer
poses a substantial risk of bodily injury or serious damage
to property and also certify that a prescribed regimen is
appropriate, if conditional release pursuant to such a
regimen is necessary. The Court requested the Panel to
confirm that a conditional release plan was being prepared.
2017, the Court received an email from defense counsel which
indicated that the details of a conditional release plan were
being finalized. Because no further information was received,
the Court ordered the parties to submit a status report by
July 17, 2017. ECF No. 44. The Government's status report
indicated that a conditional release plan had not been
finalized but was the subject of considerable effort and
would be forthcoming. On July 18, 2017, Kiani filed a third
motion for release. ECF No. 45. In the motion, Kiani, by
counsel, indicated that the hospital employee (not
identified) “in charge of Defendant's care plan
finally . . . indicated he was not satisfied with the
family's plan.” Id. at 1. Defense counsel
then contended that the Government proposed a “groups
home scenario” for the conditional release plan, but
Kiani indicated that his family was financially unable to pay
for a spot in a group home. Kiani also questioned the
necessity of certain aspects of the conditional group plan.
26, 2017, the Court issued an order scheduling a hearing on
Kiani's motions for release and directing representatives
from the hospital to appear in Bay City, Michigan. ECF No.
46. On September 18, 2017, that hearing was held. Dr.
Channell, the Chair of the Risk Assessment Panel which
authored the report received on March 21, 2017, and Jennifer
Lee Ramos, a social worker responsible for identifying a
placement for Kiani, were present. During the hearing, the
Court was provided with new information, including Dr.
Channell's belief that Kiani could only safely be
released to an in-patient psychiatric facility with the
resources to provide significant oversight for Kiani. Ms.
Ramos then detailed her extensive efforts to find a placement
for Kiani which met that criteria, indicating that limited
options exist. Specifically, Ms. Ramos explained that most
eligible facilities have limited space and that many
facilities are unwilling to consider Kiani given his
psychological circumstances and criminal record. But Ms.
Ramos did identify one facility in northern Michigan (North
County Community Mental Health) that was willing to consider
admitting Kiani, subject to an interview. Arrangements were
made for Kiani to be interviewed by a representative of that
facility while he was still in Michigan. After the Court
scheduled a telephonic status conference for October 23,
2017, the hearing was adjourned.
October 23, 2017, that telephonic status conference was held.
The Court was informed that North County Community Mental
Health had interviewed Kiani and determined that it was not
equipped to provide the level of care he requires.
Specifically, the report found that Kiani required
“Medically Managed Residential Services which is the
most intense level of care on continuum.” Oct. 13,
2017, Interview Rep at 1. The report further stated that
“[t]raditionally this level of care is provided in
hospital settings, but could, in some cases, be provided in
free-standing non-hospital setting.” Id. A
follow-up status conference was scheduled for November 7,
2017, to give all parties an opportunity to review the
October 30, 2017, Kiani filed a fourth motion for release.
ECF No. 51. In that motion, Kiani challenges the
Government's contention that he has a history of
violence. Kiani also strongly opposes the Government's
suggestion that Kiani might need to be released to a facility
outside of Michigan (or at least not in the northern part of
Michigan, where Kiani's family resides). Kiani asserts
that, contrary to the Government's contention, his family
could provide a strong support system which would be adequate
to enable his recovery. Kiani requests an evidentiary hearing
so that Kiani's mother could explain why he should be
released directly to his family.
November 7, 2017, a telephonic status conference was held
where Kiani's attorney reasserted his belief that Kiani
was not dangerous and could safely be released to live with
his mother. Approximately one week later, the Court issued an
order denying Kiani's four pending motions for release as
premature. ECF No. 53. In that order, the Court both
summarized the applicable standards which apply to
Kiani's hospitalization and eventual release and,
further, explained that the “statute does not
contemplate a sua sponte discharge in the absence of a
medical recommendation that it is safe to do so.”
Id. at 5.
Kiani has filed yet another motion for release. ECF No. 54.
He has also filed an addendum to that motion. ECF No. 55. In
the motion, Kiani identifies no material facts which have
changed since the Court's last opinion. That motion, like
Kiani's prior motions, is premature and will be denied.
In the addendum, Kiani alleges that the Government hospital
has conducted its yearly review of Kiani's progress and
requests a copy of the report. Last year, the annual report
was issued in mid-March. Therefore, it is unclear why Kiani
believes the report has already been prepared. Even if it
has, the Government has provided that report to the Court
(and Kiani) in past years. There is no reason to believe that
the Government has failed to do so in this instance (in fact,
the Government appears to have a statutory obligation to file
any such report with the Court, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §
4243(f)). No. conditional release program has been developed
yet, and so Kiani's requests are premature and redundant.
it is ORDERED that Defendant Kiani's
motion for release, ECF No. 54, is DENIED as
premature and for the reasons stated in the