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Manrique v. United States

United States Supreme Court

April 19, 2017

MARCELO MANRIQUE, PETITIONER
v.
UNITED STATES

          Argued October 11, 2016

         ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT

         After federal agents found child pornography on petitioner's computer, he pleaded guilty to possessing a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§2252(a)(4)(B) and (b)(2), an offense requiring a district court to "make restitution to the victim of the offense, " §3663A(a)(1). The District Court entered an initial judgment sentencing petitioner to a term of imprisonment. It also acknowledged that restitution was mandatory but deferred determination of the restitution amount. Petitioner filed a notice of appeal from this initial judgment. Months later, the District Court entered an amended judgment, ordering petitioner to pay restitution to one of his victims. Petitioner did not file a second notice of appeal from the amended judgment. When he nonetheless challenged the restitution amount before the Eleventh Circuit, the Government argued that he had forfeited his right to do so by failing to file a second notice of appeal. The Eleventh Circuit agreed, holding that petitioner could not challenge the restitution amount.

         Held: A defendant wishing to appeal an order imposing restitution in a deferred restitution case must file a notice of appeal from that order. If he fails to do so and the Government objects, he may not challenge the restitution order on appeal. Pp. 3-9.

(a) Both 18 U.S.C. §3742(a), which governs criminal appeals, and Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 3(a)(1) contemplate that a defendant will file a notice of appeal after the district court has decided the issue sought to be appealed. Here, petitioner filed only one notice of appeal, which preceded by many months the sentence and judgment imposing restitution. He therefore failed to properly appeal the amended judgment. Whether or not the requirement that a defendant file a timely notice of appeal from an amended judgment impos ing restitution is a jurisdictional prerequisite, it is at least a mandatory claim-processing rule, which is "unalterable" if raised properly by the party asserting a violation of the rule. Eberhart v. United States, 546 U.S. 12, 15. Because the Government timely raised the issue, "the court's duty to dismiss the appeal was mandatory." Id., at 18. Pp. 3-5.
(b) Petitioner's argument that his single notice of appeal sufficed under the Federal Rules to appeal both judgments depends on two premises: First, in a deferred restitution case, there is only one "judgment, " as that term is used in Rules 4(b)(1) and (b)(2); and second, so long as a notice of appeal is filed after the initial judgment, it "springs forward" under Rule 4(b)(2) to appeal the amended judgment imposing restitution. Each premise is rejected. Pp. 5-7.
(1) This Court's analysis in Dolanv. United States, 560 U.S. 605, makes clear that deferred restitution cases involve two appealable judgments, not one. The Dolan Court did not decide the question presented here, but the Court was not persuaded by the argument that "a sentencing judgment is not 'final' until it contains a definitive determination of the amount of restitution." Id., at 617-618. Instead, the Court recognized, "strong arguments" supported the proposition that both the initial judgment and the restitution order were each immediately appealable final judgments. Ibid. Pp. 5-6.
(2) Because petitioner's notice of appeal was filed well before the District Court announced the sentence imposing restitution, the notice of appeal did not "spring forward" to become effective on the date the court entered its amended restitution judgment. By its own terms, Rule 4(b)(2) applies only to a notice of appeal filed after a sentence has been announced and before the judgment imposing the sentence is entered on the docket. Even if the District Court's acknowledgment in the initial judgment that restitution was mandatory could qualify as a "sentence" that the District Court "announced" under Rule 4(b)(2), petitioner has never disputed that restitution is mandatory for his offense. Rather, he argued on appeal that the amount imposed is unlawful. Pp. 6-7.
(c) Petitioner's alternative argument that any defect in his notice of appeal should be overlooked as harmless error is rejected. Lemke v. United States, 346 U.S. 325, on which he relies, has been superseded by the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure in two ways. First, the Lemke petitioner's notice of appeal would now be timely under Rule 4(b)(2). Petitioner in this case cannot take advantage of that Rule. Second, Rule 3(a)(2) now provides the consequences for litigant errors associated with filing a notice of appeal. The court of appeals may, in its discretion, overlook defects in a notice of appeal other than the failure to timely file a notice. It may not overlook the failure to file a notice of appeal at all. Pp. 8-9.

618 Fed.Appx. 579, affirmed.

          THOMAS, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and Kennedy, Breyer, Alito, and Kagan, JJ., joined. Ginsburg, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which SOTOMAYOR, J., joined. GOR-SUCH, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

          OPINION

          Thomas Justice.

         Sentencing courts are required to impose restitution as part of the sentence for specified crimes. But the amount to be imposed is not always known at the time of sentencing. When that is the case, the court may enter an initial judgment imposing certain aspects of a defendant's sentence, such as a term of imprisonment, while deferring a determination of the amount of restitution until entry of a later, amended judgment.

         We must decide whether a single notice of appeal, filed between the initial judgment and the amended judgment, is sufficient to invoke appellate review of the later-determined restitution amount. We hold that it is not, at least where, as here, the Government objects to the defendant's failure to file a notice of appeal following the amended judgment.

         I

         After federal agents found more than 300 files containing child pornography on his computer, petitioner Marcelo Manrique pleaded guilty to possessing a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, in viola- tion of 18 U.S.C. §§2252(a)(4)(B) and (b)(2). Under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act of 1996 (MVRA), the District Court was required to order petitioner to "make restitution to the victim of the offense." §3663A(a)(1); see §§2259(a), (b)(2) ("An order of restitution under this section shall be issued and enforced in accordance with [§]3664 in the same manner as an order under [§]3663A").

         On June 24, 2014, the District Court entered an initial judgment sentencing petitioner to 72 months of imprisonment and a life term of supervised release. At the sentencing hearing, the court acknowledged that restitution was mandatory. But, consistent with the MVRA, the court postponed determining the victims' damages, which had not yet been ascertained. See, e.g., §3664(d)(5); Dolan v. United States,560 U.S. 605, 607-608 (2010). Accordingly, the judgment expressly deferred "determination of restitution" and noted that an "Amended Judgment . . . w[ould] be entered after such determination." App. 39. On July ...


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