United States v. Kovall, No. 15-50419 (9th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit joined the First, Third, Fifth, Eighth, and Tenth Circuits in holding that a victim may not directly appeal the restitution component of a criminal defendant's sentence under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (MVRA), 18 U.S.C. 3663A. In this case, defendants were convicted of charges related to their involvement in a scheme to receive kickbacks based on overpayments made by the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians. The district court ordered defendants to pay restitution to the Tribe. The Tribe subsequently challenged the "direct loss" and the "other fees" amount of the restitution order. The panel held that the Tribe had Article III standing to appeal an award under the MVRA, but that neither the MVRA nor the Due Process Clause confers a right on the Tribe to challenge restitution awards except as provided in 18 U.S.C. 3771(d)(3). Accordingly, the panel dismissed the appeal.