Michael Avenatti Complains to Judge He’s Been Under Prison Lockdown for Five Weeks

Disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti has complained to the judge in one of his criminal cases that he has been under a lockdown in prison for five weeks, according to court filings.

Avenatti, a 2020 Democrat presidential candidate, claims he has only been let outside for five hours per week.

The former attorney also complained of a COVID-19 outbreak in his prison.

Avenatti wrote in his court filing:

“Defendant is presently incarcerated at FCI Terminal Island in Unit ‘D’.

“On the evening of Wednesday, July 27, 2022, another prisoner in defendant’s unit tested positive for Covid-19 prompting the Warden of Terminal Island to lockdown and quarantine the entire unit.

“Additional testing over the weeks that followed showed a positive rate of over twenty percent (20%); approximately 28-30 prisoners out of 120 have tested positive.

“This has resulted in defendant’s unit and defendant remaining in lockdown and quarantine since July 27, 2022 (over five weeks).

“During this period, defendant has been allowed out of his unit approximately five hours per week for limited fresh air.

“As a result of this quarantine, defendant has not had any ability to have any visits, including legal visits, nor has he had any access to the law library or any other legal materials.

“Further, phone calls, including legal calls, have been significantly limited as has defendant’s access to email. In addition, regular mail and legal mail delivery has been delayed during this time period.

“It has been impossible for defendant to adequately prepare for his sentencing and the briefing required under these circumstances.

“The lockdown is expected to be lifted on or about September 8, 2022, at which time defendant will have lost six weeks of preparation time.

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“It is clear from the language of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32 that a criminal defendant must be allowed sufficient time to prepare for sentencing.

“This is especially true where, as here, Defendant has not been provided adequate time nor access to resources to prepare for his sentencing due to a Covid-19 outbreak in his prison unit and subsequent lockdown/quarantine, something over which he has no control or ability to mitigate.

“Defendant proposes that the sentencing hearing be continued twenty eight days to October 31, 2022.

“According to the Court’s prior Order and the associated time intervals, the parties initial sentencing positions would be due three weeks prior to the sentencing hearing, October 10, 2022.

“Defendant asks that instead of one week, the parties be permitted to submit their responsive position to the opposing party’s pleadings by October 24, 2022, which is two weeks following the initial positions.

“Finally, no later than one week after filing of parties’ responses to the initial sentencing pleadings, the U.S. Probation Officer would prepare and provide to the parties and the Court the final PSR with an addendum addressing any objections to the PSR and the parties’ sentencing positions,” the filing said.

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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