Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Moruzin

October 30, 2008

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
WAYNE MORUZIN, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Simandle, District Judge

[FOR PUBLICATION]

HON. JEROME B. SIMANDLE

OPINION

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court upon the Government's motion for the involuntary administration of antipsychotic medication to Defendant Wayne Moruzin to render him competent to stand trial [Docket Item 112]. In 2005, Defendant was indicted on charges of bank robbery and jury tampering [Docket Items 10 and 41]. After he began to exhibit increasingly unusual behavior in the proceedings herein, the Court, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4241(a), ordered that an evaluation of Mr. Moruzin's competency to stand trial be performed, after which the Court ultimately determined that he was suffering from a mental disease or defect that rendered him mentally incompetent to stand trial, pursuant to § 4241(d) [Docket Item 91]. The Court ordered that Defendant be committed to the custody of the Attorney General for hospitalization and treatment, and directed the treatment facility to assess the likelihood of whether he would regain his mental competence so as to permit the trial to proceed [Docket Item 92].

After the resulting competency restoration study was produced, the Government filed the motion presently before the Court. The Government argues, pursuant to Sell v. United States, 539 U.S. 166 (2003), that the Court should order that Mr. Moruzin be involuntarily administered antipsychotic medication in order to restore him to competency. Defendant opposes the Government's motion, arguing that the Government has failed to satisfy its burden under Sell of establishing that the forced administration of such medication is necessary and appropriate in this case. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will deny the Government's motion.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Underlying Criminal Charges

On April 26, 2005, a grand jury returned a one-count indictment, charging Mr. Moruzin with bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a) and 2 [Docket Item 10]. According to the indictment, on September 15, 2004, Mr. Moruzin robbed the First Colonial National Bank in Westville, New Jersey of approximately $11,588.00. On October 10, 2005, Mr. Moruzin wrote and mailed to a woman named Carolyn LeFever a letter in which he suggested that Ms. LeFever appear at jury selection for his upcoming criminal trial and inform the potential jurors that Mr. Moruzin had been "set up." After the letter was intercepted, a grand jury returned a two-count superseding indictment, charging Mr. Moruzin with bank robbery and jury tampering [Docket Item 41].

B. Competency Evaluation

Initially, Mr. Moruzin, intent on representing himself in this criminal action, filed an application seeking to waive his right to counsel, which, after convening a hearing and finding "that Defendant's waiver of counsel [was] knowing, voluntary, and intelligent," the Court granted in an Order dated October 18, 2005 [Docket Item 40]. On April 7, 2006, however, after Defendant began to exhibit increasingly unusual behavior, the Court determined that there was "reasonable cause to believe that the defendant may presently be suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent," under 18 U.S.C. § 4241(a), and ordered that an evaluation of Mr. Moruzin's mental competency be performed [Docket Item 76].*fn1

The results of the competency evaluation were memorialized in a forensic report dated August 7, 2006. Dr. Judith (Betsy) Campbell, Ph.D., the Bureau of Prisons forensic psychologist who evaluated Defendant and authored the forensic report, diagnosed Mr. Moruzin with bipolar II disorder with psychotic features.*fn2

(Docket Item 91 at 11.) Following the issuance of the forensic report, the Court convened a competency hearing on October 5, 2006 pursuant to section 4241(d), at which Defendant was represented by counsel and at which the Court heard the testimony of Dr. Campbell.

Based on the forensic report and the evidence presented at the October 5 hearing, the Court found, in an Opinion and Order dated October 19, 2006 [Docket Items 91 and 92], that Mr. Moruzin was mentally incompetent to assist properly in his own defense or to defend himself. The Court explained:

The vast preponderance of evidence leads to the conclusion that Mr. Moruzin, due to a severe mental disease, is presently mentally incompetent because he is unable to properly assist in his defense . . . . Mr. Moruzin's paranoid and delusional thinking . . . impairs his functioning so severely that his perceptions of this process are too often irrational. Although Mr. Moruzin displays moments of lucidity in court and speaks of various defense tactics, he is much more often agitated, suspicious, and non-comprehending of the procedures and the intentions of those around him. He presently seems to be unable to have a constructive dialog about this case or his defense due to his hostility and paranoia, and there is little doubt that his unfounded mistrust of his attorney and his attorney's motives hampers his attorney-client relationship. (Docket Item 91 at 12-13.) The Court accordingly ordered that Mr. Moruzin be "committed to the custody of the Attorney General for hospitalization and treatment in a suitable facility pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4241(d)," and ordered that within 120 days, the director of that facility "report to the Court whether there is a substantial probability that, in the foreseeable future from that date, Defendant will attain the capacity to permit the trial to proceed, as required by 18 U.S.C. § 4241(d)(1)." (Docket Item 92 at 2.)

C. Forensic Evaluation at FMC Butner

Pursuant to the Court's Order, Mr. Moruzin was transferred to the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina ("FMC Butner") for treatment. At FMC Butner, Defendant was evaluated by members of the institution's mental health staff, including Dr. Angela Walden-Weaver, Ph.D., who served as his treating psychologist, and Dr. Robert Lucking, M.D., who served as consulting psychiatrist; Drs. Walden-Weaver and Lucking subsequently produced a forensic evaluation (the "Butner Report" or "Report") addressing Mr. Moruzin's psychological diagnosis, his competency to stand trial, and the prospects for Mr. Moruzin to attain competency with or without the assistance of medication. (Gov't's Br. Ex. B at 2.)

In the Butner Report, Drs. Walden-Weaver and Lucking -- after reviewing Mr. Moruzin's extensive history of legal, substance abuse, and psychological problems -- render the following diagnoses according to the criteria contained in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition ("DSM IV"):

Axis I: Bipolar II Disorder, Severe with Psychotic Features, 296.89 (Principal Diagnosis) Polysubstance Dependence, 304.80 Axis II: Diagnosis Deferred, 799.9 Axis III: Chronic Low Back Pain Seizure Disorder by History Past Infection with Hepatitis B And Hepatitis A Hepatitis C Antibody Positive Axis IV: Problems Related to Interaction with the Legal System/Crime Axis V: Global Assessment of Functioning = 41

(current)[.] (Id. at 9.) The Report indicates that Mr. Moruzin, who is fifty-three years old, has suffered from mental illness "[f]or at least the past 32 years," and that his "psychotic symptoms are chronic and persistent." (Id. at 9, 14.) On the matter of Mr. Moruzin's competency, Drs. Walden-Weaver and Lucking, like Dr. Campbell, opine that Mr. Moruzin is unable to assist in his defense on account of his delusional belief that his attorney, the Government, and the Court are conspiring against him. (Id. at 11.)

With regard to the question of "whether there is a substantial probability that in the foreseeable future [Mr. Moruzin] will attain the capacity to permit the proceedings to go forward," 18 U.S.C. § 4241, the Butner Report indicates that "Mr. Moruzin is unlikely to improve in the foreseeable future without treatment with antipsychotic medication, which he is now refusing on a voluntary basis." (Id. at 14.) Drs. Walden-Weaver and Lucking accordingly request that the Court order that Mr. Moruzin be involuntarily administered antipsychotic medication in order to restore him to competency. (Id. at 12.) The Report prefaces this request with a recognition that

[b]ecause he can be safely managed in a secure mental health unit; generally maintain adequate personal hygiene and room sanitation; maintain practices of adequate nutritional intake; and is not overtly threatening to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.