- Court: United States Supreme Court
- Area(s) of Law: Remedies
- Date Filed: April 19, 2017
- Case #: 15-7250
- Judge(s)/Court Below: 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. Gorsuch, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
- Full Text Opinion
After federal agents found more than 300 files of child pornography on Petitioner’s computer, Petitioner plead guilty to possessing a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The District Court entered an initial judgment, sentencing Petitioner to 72 months of imprisonment and a life term of supervised release. In addition, the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act of 1996 (MVRA) required Petitioner to “make restitution to the victim of the offense.” Consistent with the MVRA, the District Court deferred determining the victim’s damages until the court ascertained them. Petitioner then filed a notice of appeal from the initial judgment. Petitioner did not file a second notice of appeal from the District Court’s amended judgment imposing restitution. However, Petitioner challenged the restitution amount in the Eleventh Circuit. The Eleventh Circuit held that by failing to file a second notice of appeal, the Petitioner could not challenge the restitution amount. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari and affirmed. The Court determined that both the statute that governs appeals of criminal sentences, 18 U.S.C. §3742(a), and the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure contemplate that a defendant will file a notice of appeal after the district court decides the issue sought to be appealed. The requirement that a defendant file a timely notice of appeal from an amended judgment imposing restitution is a mandatory claim processing rule, which is unalterable if the party asserting the rule properly raises it. Respondent timely raised Petitioner’s failure to file a second notice of appeal. Therefore, the court’s duty to dismiss the appeal was mandatory. AFFIRMED.