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Essex County Jail Oral Thermometers and Window Visits Inquired Into By SDNY Judge Furman

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 11 – Michael Delaguila was Sealed Defendant 2 in the narcotics conspiracy case of US v. Arguedas, et al, which Inner City Press has reported on since the sealed indictment was filed.

 Delaguila was denied bail by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Sarah L. Cave, and has been at the Essex County Correctional Facility in New Jersey.

   There, his assigned attorney Ben Silverman has attemped to visit him, with little success. Silverman says the ECCF would take his temperature with a shared oral thermometer, and not allow him to leave discovery materials with Delaguila. 

 On June 11 SDNY Judge Jesse M. Furman to whom the case has been assigned held a conference on short notice - in fact, Inner City Press only because aware of it by covering the proceeding that came before. But several Essex County Correctional Facility representatives appeared, to try to rebut the thermometer and other complaints. 

  The question arose, why can't ECCF estasblish the type of video bridge for attorney client communications that the MCC and MDC have? Inner City Press live tweeted the proceeding:

Judge Furman began by noting he ordered the parties to be ready to address issues in his order the other day.  Procedural Press question: then why isn't this proceeding in the PACER calendar? Will look into. Judge Furman says he is concerned about these 6th Amendment issues.

 Judge Furman: I've found there is no communications with counsel. A few months ago that was understandable. Mr. Silverman didn't make this motion two months ago. But now it is time to look into it. Can't keep deferring it.

Judge Furman: I'd rather try to fix the problem than grant bail to someone who is not seriously arguing his is appropriate for bail. But at a certain point it's simply not fair, to be in jail with no prospects of a trial.

AUSA Andrew Chan: Courts have been reluctant to micro-management prisons. But Courts can make a finding that a defendant cannot confer with counsel in a particular facility, and grant temporary release. But he think you should wait.

AUSA Chan: Mr Silverman has had four calls in nine weeks. He had a video call scheduled in May that got canceled due to an emergency in the prison. We acknowledge that's frustrating. But we think Mr. Silverman should schedule another one.

Judge Furman: Mr. Silverman says video is only if you got to the jail and take your temperature with a shared thermometer. Then the camera is too far away to show the evidence that is subject to the protective order.

 AUSA Chan: They sanitize the thermometer, we're told. I might be helpful to get more data. He should visit again. The discovery information identifies some of the cooperating witnesses. That is sensitive.

AUSA Chan: Some of the social media extractions have sexually explicit material. Prisons have historically not allowed inmates to have this. Perhaps a "window visit" could be scheduled.

 AUSA Chan says that Essex County Correctional Facility has window visits, which the MCC and MDC don't have. Now the ECCF representative, "not barred in New York," launches into it.  Admits there were oral thermometer used at first. Now forehead scanner.

 Essex County Correctional Facility rep says Silverman only requested a single "window visit," and didn't show up. Silverman was told if he didn't want to use the video portal in our lobby he could bring his own laptop. So we do not think there is any 6 Am problem.

Judge Furman: What app is used in the iPads? Can documents be shown? ECCF warden William J. Anderson: It cannot do screen sharing.  Judge Furman: Is there any talk about screen sharing? Warden: They're working on it.

Silverman: I sent this photo of the EDNY video conferencing facility to your deputy, Ms. Smallman. 

Judge Furman: To make it public, please file it on ECF.

 Silverman: There's a bunch of lascivious material in the discovery in jail. And the oral thermometer, it was in use in late May when I went there. An hour before this call, I was suddenly told that Essex would make concessions. We argued for bail before Judge Cave Silverman says he doubts he can find a paralegal to spend 20 to 30 hours in the Essex County Correctional Facility, given COVID-19. ECCF rep returns to say oral thermometers were stopped May 7. 

Judge Furman: There's direct bridge from jail to court in SDNY & ENDY

 Warden Anderson: We have three laptops, a connection to "Western District." We have ICE and Marshal inmates. 

Judge Furman: What about video to NJ Federal Defenders?

 Warden Anderson: If any attorney told us it was broken we'd fix it.

Judge Furman: To find a 2142(i) [or 6th Amendment?] violation I'd have to have a better record, with Mr. Silverman requesting things. Put your thinking caps on. There are unprecedented times. I want a report 2 weeks from today.  

Inner City Press will continue to cover this case. It is US v. Delaguila, 20-cr-135 (Furman). 


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