Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Rankin

United States District Court, D. Montana, Missoula Division

October 23, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ALLEN J. RANKIN, Defendant.

          ORDER

          DONALD W. MOLLOY, DISTRICT JUDGE

         On October 22, 2018, the government filed a motion to return $800.00 to the defendant on the grounds that the restitution payee, Karen Fisher, had received the rent check she thought was taken from her mailbox and was not owed the $800.00 as previously ordered by the Court. (Doc. 66.) While the government's motion is granted, this matter is more complicated than it seems.

         On April 10, 2015, the defendant was sentenced on charges related to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. His judgment ordered restitution in the amount of $7, 174.40, including $800.00 to Ms. Fisher. (Doc. 31.) In June 2018, the government discovered that the defendant inherited some money and was given authorization to remove the full amount of his restitution from his inmate trust account. (Docs. 59, 63.) Thus, the defendant satisfied his restitution judgment on August 1, 2018. (Doc. 65.)

         Upon receipt of her restitution check, Ms. Fisher sent the following letter to the Court:

I am enclosing a check in payment for restitution that was sent to me. Several years ago, I was notified that there had been mail theft in my area and inquiring as to whether I was missing any mail. At that time, I had not received a rental payment from a tenant, so I replied that, yes, I was missing a piece of mail with a check enclosed. However, I did eventually receive the rent check from my tenant; it was late and lost for a couple of weeks, but it was not stolen from my mailbox.
Therefore, since I did not have any mail stolen from me, I am returning the restitution check to you.

(Doc. 66-1.)

         The return of this check-and the fact that Ms. Fisher was not a victim of the defendant's offense-presents a unique problem because "[a] sentence that imposes an order of restitution is a final judgment" and can be modified only in limited circumstances. See 18 U.S.C. § 3664(o); see United States v. Hankins, 858 F.3d 1273, 1276 (9th Cir. 2017) ("Once a restitution order is imposed, the [Mandatory Victims Restitution Act ("MVRA")] leaves the district court with limited options to modify restitution."); see also United States v. Wyss, 744 F.3d 1214 (10th Cir. 2014) (holding that the statutory provision that generally authorizes a district court to modify a defendant's conditions of probation, 18 U.S.C. § 3563(c), does not authorize modification of a restitution order imposed pursuant to the MVRA). Under the MVRA:

(1) such a sentence can subsequently be--
(A) corrected under Rule 35 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and section 3742 of chapter 235 of this title;
(B) appealed and modified under section 3742;
(C) amended under subsection (d)(5); or
(D) adjusted under section 3664(k); 3572, or 3613A; or
(2) the defendant may be resentenced under sections 3565 or 3614. 18 U.S.C. § 3664(o). Complicating matters further, victims themselves have "limited rights and may not dictate whether restitution is appropriate or the amount." Hankins, 858 F.3d at 1278 ("The restitution obligation is a continuous one that does not ebb and flow with the victim's circumstances ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.