United States v. Zaic, No. 13-2028 (8th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Defendant pled guilty to one count of failure to pay legal child support obligations. On appeal, defendant challenged the district court's award of restitution, arguing that the procedural requirements of the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act of 1996 (MVRA), 18 U.S.C. 3663A-3664, were not strictly followed. The court concluded, however, that a district court was not necessarily divested of the power to order restitution when the government or the court failed to perfectly comply with the MVRA's procedural provisions. In this instance, defendant was on notice that he would have to pay restitution, though the amount was subject to change. He also knew that his ex-wife was seeking restitution for out-of-pocket expenses. The prosecution and the probation officer may have neglected to inform the court in a timely manner that some losses remained unascertainable prior to sentencing, but public policy forbids that the public interests should be prejudiced by the negligence of the officers or agents to whose care they are confined. Therefore, the court found that the district court had authority to order restitution for medical expenses post-sentencing. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.