The court reversed the magistrate judge's order to continue Appellants' preliminary hearings and extend the deadline for their indictments. The magistrate judge based its order on a finding that, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, "extraordinary circumstances exist[ed] and justice require[d] the delay." On appeal, the court ruled that this order was based on erroneous fact-finding because the CARES Act authorized "video and teleconferencing technology to conduct the limited hearings that [were] still occurring" during the pandemic. It was passed before the government commenced this action against Appellants, meaning that "the government should have known it would have to proceed via a preliminary hearing conducted over videoconference" and could not claim that the difficulties of teleconferencing or the limited capabilities of the court during this time qualify as "extraordinary circumstances." Accordingly, the court vacated the district court's order and ordered Appellants' immediate release due to the government's delay in conducting preliminary hearings.
Elms v. United States, 457 F. Supp. 3d 897 (D. Nev. 2020)
Criminal (Federal Charges)
Type of Court
Federal District Court
Type of Case
Pretrial Detention [jail]
Compassionate Release Case
Case Tracking Number
MORE CASE INFORMATION
Place of Incarceration
Federal Detention Center [typically federal pretrial detention]
CARES Act, Pub. L. No. 116-136, Other, 18 U.S.C. §3060(d)
Both Appellants are charged with "breaking into a hardware store in Winnemucca, Nevada and stealing some 25 firearms."
COVID-19 in Jail Prison or Detention Center
Crowdsourced legal documents from around the country related to COVID-19 and incarceration, organized, collected, and summarized for public defenders, litigators, and other advocates. Created and managed by Bronx Defenders, Columbia Law School’s Center for Institutional and Social Change, UCLA Law COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project, and Zealous. Mostly federal court opinions, but now expanding to states and legal filings, declarations, and exhibits.
This resource is designed to help lawyers, advocates, researchers, journalists, and others interested in challenging, remedying, or drawing attention to the grave risk that Covid-19 poses to individuals who are detained.