In re: Carlos Brown, No. 18-1527 (4th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
This case arose from a car accident between petitioner and another driver, who caused the accident while she was driving under the influence of alcohol. Petitioner sought a writ of mandamus after the district court denied restitution as a condition of the driver's probation.
The Fourth Circuit held that it had subject matter jurisdiction over the petition pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3771(d)(3). The court also held that the district court abused its discretion by failing to state why the burden of complexity or delay in sentencing outweighed petitioner's need for restitution, and this error harmed him because he received none of the requested restitution to which he may be entitled under the Victim and Witness Protection Act.
The court also exercised its discretion to address certain issues that were likely to recur upon remand: United States v. Fountain should not be a guiding star for the lower court's balancing analysis on remand; in considering and balancing the statutory factors under section 3663(a)(1)(B)(ii), the district court may consider, among other factors, the availability of alternative civil remedies for petitioner's past lost earnings; and, in performing its section 3663(a)(1)(B)(ii) balancing analysis, the district court should confine its review to what petitioner requested—past lost earnings.