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United States v. Sapse

United States District Court for the District of Nevada

October 26, 2012, Decided; October 26, 2012, Filed

Case No. 2:10-CR-00370-KJD-RJJ



Before the Court for consideration is the Order (#144) of Magistrate Judge Robert J. Johnston entered October 22, 2012, denying Plaintiff's Motion to Obtain Video Conference Testimony (#94). Appeal (#145) of the Magistrate Judge's Order was filed by Plaintiff pursuant to Local Rule IB 3-1 of the Local Rules of Practice of the United States District Court of the District of Nevada. Defendant Ralph M. Conti filed a response in opposition (#148) to the appeal.

The Court has conducted a de novo review of the record in this case in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and LR IB 3-1. The Court determines that the Order (#144) of the United States Magistrate Judge entered October 22, 2012,  [*2] is clearly erroneous and contrary to law and should be REVERSED.

I. Background

Essentially, the United States seeks to present the testimony of six witnesses 1 whose extremely poor physical condition make them unavailable to testify if they have to travel to the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Each is severely disabled to the point that at least four of the six have lost the use of their legs, many are incontinent, several require the aid of permanent caregivers and cannot perform the most basic functions of life without assistance. However, each of the six would be able to complete much shorter and less physically taxing trips to United States District Courts close to their homes. From those District Courts, they could testify via live video conference technology.

The United States has proposed the following procedures:

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2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154801 *; 2012 WL 5334630

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, v. ALFRED T. SAPSE, et al., Defendants.

Subsequent History: Motion granted by United States v. Sapse, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154799 (D. Nev., Oct. 29, 2012)

Prior History: United States v. Sapse, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151489 (D. Nev., Oct. 22, 2012)


witnesses, video, videoconference, deposition, public policy, reliability, observe, cross-examination, confrontation, demeanor