A defendant was convicted, and his sentence included over $500,000 in restitution. He was ordered make periodic restitution payments of at least 10% of his income. He then inherited over $400,000, and so the government moved to modify the restitution payment order. He paid $100,000 in towards restitution, but blew most of the rest in a lavish spending spree while he got extensions on the government’s motion to modify. The district court ruled that the defendant’s bad faith violated the restitution order. Today, CA3 reversed, holding that revocation requires violation of a specific condition of supervised release, and neither bad faith nor violation of an informal agreement with the prosecution sufficed.
The case is US v. Bagdy. Opinion by Vanaskie, joined by Smith and Shwartz. Arguing counsel were Candace Cain for the defendant and Donovan Cocas for the government.
Sanity in an appellate/defendant win. When revocation hearings sometimes feel like procedural going-through-the-motions where reasonable suspicion searches create BRD, I’m floored by this opinion and happy about it.
CA3 got this right. Without a specific condition of supervision being violated, a condition placed upon the defendant either at sentencing or at a modification hearing (barring waiver of hearing), no violation can occur. Bad faith sort of goes with the territory, and the defendant paid $100k of his windfall already.
If my math serves me right, that’s 25% of his windfall, and 25 is bigger than 10. His duty was more than satisfied if you perceive it in accounting terms. Government got greedy, then got mad when they didn’t get to pillage his money. End of argument.