United States v. Pocklington

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 07-02-2015
  • Case #: 13-50461
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Judge McKeown for the Court; Circuit Judges Kleinfeld and M. Smith, Jr.
  • Full Text Opinion

A court only has jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C. § 3565(c) to extend an individuals probationary period if the jurisdictional requirements of issuing a warrant or summons before the probation deadline are met.

Peter Pocklington was charged with two counts of Bankruptcy fraud, to which he pleaded guilty to perjury and he was sentenced to two years of probation. Several months before the probation expired, Pocklington’s probation officer received a letter from a creditor alleging that Pocklington had failed to disclose his assets and property interests properly. The probation officer informed the district court and assigned an FBI agent to investigate the claims. Both the probation officer and the FBI agent informed the court that they did not find and apparent violations; the probation officer requested a 90 day extension to Pocklington’s probation under 18 U.S.C. § 3565(c). The district court issued an order to show cause and held a hearing five days after Pocklington’s probation expired. Just under a year later, the court revoked Pocklington’s probation and sentenced him to six months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release. Pocklington appealed, arguing that the requirements for extending probation under § 3565(c) are jurisdictional, and that the district court lacked jurisdiction to extend his probation because it did not issue a warrant or summons as set out in the plain language of the statute. The Ninth Circuit agreed, holding that the statute’s language clearly indicates that § 3565(c) is jurisdictional, and that the failure by the district court to issue a warrant or a summons before Pocklington’s probation ended deprived the court of jurisdiction to extend the probationary period. VACATED.

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