UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Travis JENKINS, a/k/a TJ, Defendant-Appellant.
United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Travis Jenkins, a/k/a TJ, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 19-6457, No. 19-7206
Decided: August 19, 2020
Before AGEE and THACKER, Circuit Judges, and TRAXLER, Senior Circuit Judge.
Travis Jenkins, Appellant Pro Se.
In No. 19-6457, Travis Jenkins appeals the district court's order denying his (1) motion for a sentence reduction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and Amendment 782 to the Sentencing Guidelines, (2) motion for discovery, (3) motion to compel his former attorney to return his case file, and (4) motion to seal certain documents. In No. 19-7206, Jenkins appeals the district court's order denying his motions for reconsideration of the district court's prior order. As for the first two motions, we have reviewed the record and find no reversible error. Accordingly, we affirm these portions of the orders for the reasons stated by the district court. United States v. Jenkins, No. 5:13-cr-00168-BO-1 (E.D.N.C. Mar. 19, 2019 & July 29, 2019). However, as for the motion to compel and motion to seal, we conclude that the district court erred in denying these motions and vacate these portions of the district court's orders.
First addressing the motion to compel, we review the denial of a motion to compel under an abuse-of-discretion standard. See Horne v. WTVR, LLC, 893 F.3d 201, 212 (4th Cir. 2018). Under North Carolina Rule of Professional Conduct 1.16(d), “[u]pon termination of representation, a lawyer shall take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a client's interests, such as ․ surrendering papers and property to which the client is entitled.” See also United States v. Basham, 789 F.3d 358, 388 (4th Cir. 2015) (reviewing legal authority requiring counsel to deliver client's file upon termination of representation). Thus, because Jenkins’ former counsel should return the case file to Jenkins, we conclude that the district court misapprehended the applicable legal principles and abused its discretion in denying the motion to compel.
Turning to the motion to seal, while this appeal was pending, we recently set forth the relevant standard to apply and the interests to consider when addressing such motions. See United States v. Doe, 962 F.3d 139, 145-53 (4th Cir. 2020). The district court did not have the benefit of our decision in Doe when ruling on Jenkins’ motion. Accordingly, we also vacate the portions of the district court's orders denying the motion to seal and remand for reconsideration in light of Doe.
We therefore affirm the district court's orders in part, vacate them in part, and remand for further proceedings. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process.
AFFIRMED IN PART, VACATED IN PART, AND REMANDED
Affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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