United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO COMPEL
E. SCHREIER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Stephanie Broecker, moves for an order compelling plaintiff,
the United States of America, to file a motion under Rule 35
of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Docket 122. The
United States opposes the motion. Docket 138. Defendant also
requests the court to issue an indicative ruling under Rule
37(a)(3) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Docket
150. For the following reasons, the court denies
factual background was provided by this court in its Order
Denying Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea. Docket 119.
Therefore, the court will only give a simple explanation and
points to the Order Denying Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea
for the full background.
December 6, 2018, a plea agreement, sealed plea agreement
supplement, and statement of factual basis were filed with
the court. Dockets 51, 52, 53. All of the documents were
signed by Broecker, her retained defense counsel, Lawrence
Beaumont, her locally retained defense counsel, Rick Ramstad,
and Assistant United States Attorney, Jennifer Mammenga.
Dockets 51, 52, 53.
plea agreement supplement contained a cooperation provision.
Docket 53. The cooperation provision stated that Broecker
agreed to fully cooperate with the United States.
Id. at 1. Cooperation included, but was not limited
to, “providing complete and truthful information to the
United States” and “providing complete and
truthful testimony before grand jury, trial, and at other
proceedings as required[.]” Id. The plea
agreement supplement also stated that any “significant
deception or omission by the Defendant with respect to any
material fact or issue shall render this agreement
voidable[.]” Id. at 2.
exchange for Broecker's cooperation, the United States
included a substantial assistance provision within the plea
agreement supplement. Id. at 2-3. “If the
United States Attorney determines that the Defendant's
cooperation satisfies the requirements of the Rule 35(b) of
the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the United States
agrees to move the Court to reduce the Defendant's
sentence as authorized by Rule 35.” Id. at 2.
The United States retained some discretion in filing a Rule
35 motion, noting in the supplement that “[t]he
decision to file a Rule 35 motion rests within the sole
discretion of the United States Attorney. This provision is
not a promise or a guarantee that a Rule 35 motion
will be filed.” Id. at 3.
December 10, 2018, the court held a change of plea hearing.
Docket 55. At the hearing, Broecker was placed under oath and
participated in a Rule 11 colloquy with the court. Docket 97
at 2-14. Broecker pleaded guilty to the charge. Id.
at 14. The court accepted the plea and found Broecker guilty.
February 26, 2018, Broecker, through Ramstad, filed an ex
parte motion to discharge Beaumont and appoint Ramstad
as her attorney. Docket 58. Broecker made several sworn
statements within an affidavit about the adequacy of
Beaumont's representation. Docket 58-1. On October 23,
2019, the court held an evidentiary hearing on the motion.
Docket 116. Broecker testified under oath at the hearing
about the deficiencies of Beaumont's representation.
See Docket 148 at 6-48.
October 24, 2019, the court issued its order denying
Broecker's motion to withdraw her guilty plea. Docket
119. The court found that Broecker's claim of ineffective
assistance of counsel directly contradicted statements
Broecker made under oath at her change of plea hearing.
Id. at 10. The court held that Broecker failed to
show a fair and just reason for her to withdraw her guilty
plea. Id. at 13.
October 28, 2018, Broecker filed the pending motion to
compel. Docket 122. On that same day, the court held
Broecker's sentencing hearing. Docket 125. The court
sentenced Broecker to the mandatory minimum of 240 months of
imprisonment. Docket 127. On December 11, 2019, Broecker
filed her notice of appeal. Docket 142. On January 14, 2020,
Broecker filed the pending motion for indictive ruling.
argues that her motion to withdraw her guilty plea does not
relieve the United States of its obligation to file a
substantial assistance motion. Docket 123 at 5. The United
States argues that Broecker's motion should be denied
because she violated the terms of the plea agreement. Docket
138 at 8.
issue here is whether one of the parties breached the plea
agreement supplement. “Plea agreements are essentially
contracts and ‘should be interpreted according to
general contract principles.' ” United States
v. Rendon, 752 F.3d 1130, 1134 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting
United States v. DeWitt, 366 F.3d 667, 669 (8th Cir.
2004)). “A prosecutor's agreement that, in any
significant degree, induces the defendant to enter a plea,
creates a duty ...