United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
Kristine G. Baker, United States District Court Judge
October 31, 2016, after a lengthy trial, a jury found
defendant Michael Francis Heald not guilty of all charges
against him in this criminal action (Dkt. No. 154). Before
the Court is Mr. Heald's petition for award of reasonable
attorney's fees and other litigation expenses (Dkt. No.
160). This is a Hyde Amendment petition. See Hyde
Amendment, Pub. L. No. 105-119, § 617, 111 Stat. 2440,
2519 (1997), codified in a statutory note at 18
U.S.C.A. § 3006A. The government filed a combined motion
to dismiss and response in opposition to Mr. Heald's Hyde
Amendment motion for attorney's fees and costs (Dkt. No.
following reasons, the Court grants the government's
motion to dismiss (Dkt. No. 192) and denies Mr. Heald's
petition for attorney's fees and expenses (Dkt. No. 160).
The Court also enters a contemporaneous Order denying Mr.
Heald's latest motion for an extension of time (Dkt. No.
to trial, this Court issued rulings on a co-defendant's
motion for bill of particulars (Dkt. No. 60); a
co-defendant's sealed motion pertaining to the indictment
(Dkt. No. 126); a co-defendant's oral motion to sever
(Dkt. No. 132); and numerous pretrial matters (Dkt. No. 129).
The Court studied carefully pretrial the indictment and
allegations made by the government when making these rulings.
This Court then presided over a 14 day trial (Dkt. Nos.
133-137, 140-46). The parties presented testimony from
numerous witnesses and introduced many exhibits for
consideration (Dkt. Nos. 148-49). Jurors rendered acquittals
as to co-defendants Mr. Heald and Bradley Stephen Paul on day
15 of the trial (Dkt. No. 147). The Court entered the
judgment of acquittal on November 1, 2016 (Dkt. No. 154). Mr.
Heald filed his petition on December 1, 2016 (Dkt. No. 160).
With that petition, he submitted a number of exhibits for the
initial brief in support of his petition, Mr. Heald asserted
that he would file supplemental briefing in January 2017
(Dkt. No. 161, at 16). On September 11, 2017, the Court
entered an Order allowing Mr. Heald until September 25, 2017,
to file his supplemental briefing in support of his Hyde
Amendment petition (Dkt. No. 201). In that Order, this Court
granted leave for Mr. Heald “to file a single
supplemental brief before the Court rules on his Hyde
Amendment motion.” (Dkt. No. 201, at 2). At that time,
the Court also denied Mr. Heald's request for discovery
from the government (Dkt. No. 201, at 3-4).
September 19, 2017, Mr. Heald sought an additional, unlimited
extension of time to file his supplemental briefing (Dkt. No.
202). On February 22, 2018, the Court ordered Mr. Heald to
complete his filing in support of his Hyde Amendment petition
by March 26, 2018 (Dkt. No. 209). In that Order, the Court
denied Mr. Heald's request for an unlimited extension of
time and instead imposed a deadline on Mr. Heald to file his
supplemental briefing. The Court also informed Mr. Heald that
no additional extensions would be granted, absent a showing
of good cause (Id.).
March 26, 2018, rather than comply with this Court's
Order by filing his completed Hyde Amendment petition or
seeking relief before the deadline, on the day of the
deadline, Mr. Heald filed yet another request for an
extension (Dkt. No. 210, ¶ 20). Specifically, Mr. Heald
stated in pertinent part in that motion:
I can now state that I will obtain the funds by the end of
March and the work to complete my Hyde claim can begin. It
will be a very difficult and intensive process to trace all
of the evidence to show how the government obscured the
evidence, confused the jury, and presented evidence the
government knew was false and misleading. My lawyer and I
will make every effort to complete that work and file my
submission in sixty days from the current deadline of March
26 or by May 25, 2018.
(Dkt. No. 210, ¶ 20).
extent Mr. Heald suggests in his latest filing that he needs
additional time to present additional evidence to the Court
of “what the government knew and when it knew it, and
what the government did with what it knew, ” Mr. Heald
has had approximately 17 months to prepare and file his
supplemental briefing, but he has failed to do so (Dkt. No.
210, at 3). He mounted a defense against the government's
charges when his liberty was at stake. He filed a Hyde
Amendment petition with supporting exhibits, acknowledging
the 30-day controlling deadline for such a filing.
had access to all of the trial transcript since approximately
January 5, 2017 (Dkt. No. 189).
from filing substituted redacted exhibits in support of his
Hyde Amendment petition on October 26, 2017 (Dkt. No. 208),
Mr. Heald has submitted nothing further addressing the merits
in support of his petition. Only in his most recent
submission does he even suggest what he might include in a
supplemental filing, and what he cites there is insufficient
to meet his high burden for the reasons explained in this