Appealed from the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (June 26, 2009)
Oral argument: April 20, 2010
RESTITUTION PAYMENTS, SENTENCING DEADLINES, STATUTORY INTERPRETATION
In 2007 petitioner, Brian Russell Dolan, pled guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury. The United States District Court for the District of New Mexico sentenced Dolan to 21 months in prison. At sentencing, the district court recognized that restitution was required by the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act, but declined to issue a specific restitution order without first receiving more information regarding payments owed. Two hundred and nine days after sentencing, the district court issued a restitution order requiring Dolan to pay $104,649.78. Dolan, claiming that 18 U.S.C. § 3664(d)(5) precludes ordering restitution more than 90 days after sentencing, argued that the district court lacked the authority to order restitution. The United States, on the other hand, insists that a district court’s failure to meet the 90-day deadline does not extinguish its authority to order restitution. Both the district court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit rejected Dolan’s claim, holding instead that district courts retain permanent authority to impose restitution. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve the issue of whether a district court may enter a restitution order beyond the time limit prescribed in 18 U.S.C. § 3664(d)(5).