United States v. Carter

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 02-07-2014
  • Case #: 12-10549
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam: Berzon and Wallace; Dissent by District Judge Zouhary
  • Full Text Opinion

There is no future obligation of restitution when the sentencing court orders that the restitution shall be paid by forfeiture of the assets and does not make restitution part of post release conditions in the judgment.

Defendant Carter appealed from the district court’s partial denial of his “Motion to Clarify Conditions of Supervised Release and the Amount and Current Status of Restitution.” Carter and his co-defendants had been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $505, 781.01. This amount represented the estimated liquidated value of the forfeited assets, while the loss to victims totaled $1, 484,841.40. After release Carter was informed that the remaining balance of restitution was $65,955.73. Carter argued that he was not liable for this amount because all parties had agreed that the restitution amount would be satisfied with forfeited assets. The district court reduced the remaining obligation to $65, 955.73. On appeal the government argued that the Motion to Clarify was not the correct way for Carter to challenge his restitution and the district court lacked jurisdiction to consider the motion. The Ninth Circuit held that, the district court did not have jurisdiction to modify the amount owed because the restitution amount was not part of the conditions of supervised release. However, the district court did have jurisdiction to enforce and clarify the order. The main issue was whether the restitution amount had been satisfied because the forfeited assets did not total $505, 781.01. The panel held that because the district court ordered the amount due of $505, 781.01 with the understanding that it would be paid by forfeited assets, there was no future restitution obligation. The panel came to this conclusion with the premises that it is the intent of the sentencing court that will be followed when deciding any term or nature of the sentence. In addition, the panel looked at the judgment form, the plea agreement with the co-defendant and the report prepared by Carter’s probation officer. The panel held that the restitution amount had been satisfied. REVERSED.

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