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United States of America v. LONNIE M. BROWN
Case Number: 07-2045
Judge: Terrence L. O’Brien
Court: UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
Denver, CO - Criminal defense lawyer represented defendant with a assault resulting in serious bodily injury charge.
After examining the briefs and appellate record, this panel has determined
unanimously that oral argument would not materially assist in the determination
of this appeal. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2); 10th Cir. R. 34.1(G). The case is
therefore ordered submitted without oral argument.
After pleading guilty to one count of assault resulting in serious bodily
injury, Lonnie M. Brown was sentenced to twenty-seven months imprisonment,
followed by three years of supervised release. Brown was ordered to pay
Appellate Case: 07-2045 Document: 010131879 Date Filed: 09/13/2007 Page: 1
The MVRA provides “when sentencing a defendant convicted of [assault 1
resulting in serious bodily injury], the court shall order . . . that the defendant
make restitution to the victim of the offense.” 18 U.S.C. § 3663A(a)(1). The
order of restitution shall require the defendant “pay an amount equal to the cost of
necessary medical and related professional services and devices relating to
physical, psychiatric, and psychological care, including nonmedical care and
treatment rendered in accordance with a method of healing recognized by the law
of the place of treatment.” 18 U.S.C. § 3663A(b)(2)(A).
The probation officer responded to Brown’s objections by suggesting that 2
the district court review the restitution amount to determinate whether it was
appropriate. The government did not respond to Brown’s objections, either in
writing or at the sentencing hearing.
restitution to the victim pursuant to the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act
(“MVRA”), 18 U.S.C. § 3663A, in the amount of $23,890.02 for treatment at the
Gallup Indian Medical Center, and $4,055.00 for Native American Holistic
Services. The court did not provide any justification for the restitution award, 1
despite the fact that Brown filed a formal objection to the portion of the
Presentence Report relating to restitution for the Native American Holistic
Services and raised his objections to both the amount and type of this claim at the
On appeal, Brown contends that the district court erred because the court
did not resolve the dispute concerning the restitution for the Native American
Holistic Services by a preponderance of the evidence and did not place findings
of fact on the record supporting the award. See 18 U.S.C. § 3664(e) (“Any
dispute as to the proper amount or type of restitution shall be resolved by the
court by the preponderance of the evidence.”); United States v. Reano, 298 F.3d
Appellate Case: 07-2045 Document: 010131879 Date Filed: 09/13/2007 Page: 2
It is not entirely clear what relief Brown seeks. At one point, he argues 3
that the restitution order should be vacated, with instructions that Brown be
resentenced “on the existing record.” (See Reply Br. at 2.) Later, he argues that
the district court should be instructed to order restitution of only the amount
undisputed by Brown – presumably, only for treatment at the Gallup Indian
Medical Center. (Id. at 5.)
Brown argues that the government should not be allowed to present 4
additional evidence supporting the restitution award, but the government does not
appear to be seeking this relief. The government requests that this case “be
remanded to the district court for it to make specific findings with respect to the
amount of restitution payable . . . .” (See Answer Br. at 12.)
1208, 1210-11 (10th Cir. 2002) (“The district court must support its restitution
order with findings of fact in the record.”) (internal quotations and citation
omitted). The government concedes that the district court erred in this regard.
Thus, the only issue is whether the restitution award of $4,055.00 for Native
American Holistic Services should be vacated because the government failed to
prove the facts underlying the award, as Brown contends, or whether the district 3
court should be instructed to determine what amount, if any, is proper based on
the existing record.
Brown cites our recent decision in United States v. Hudson, 483 F.3d 707
(10th Cir. 2007), in support of his argument. There, we reversed and vacated the
district court’s restitution order, holding “[b]ecause the government failed to
prove that Microsoft suffered any actual loss, no restitution should have been
ordered.” Id. at 711. We rejected the government’s assertion that the defendant’s
Appellate Case: 07-2045 Document: 010131879 Date Filed: 09/13/2007 Page: 3
We note, however, the itemized expenses listed for Native American 5
Holistic Services total $3,755.00, not $4,055.00, and there has been no
explanation as to the $300 discrepancy.
actions deprived Microsoft of potential sales, and found no other basis in the
record for a restitution award. Id.
Here, by contrast, there is a basis in the record for at least a portion of the
restitution award for Native American Holistic Services. However, the district 5
court failed to make any specific findings supporting his award. Thus, we remand
so the district court may make specific findings with respect to the amount of
restitution payable, if any, for Native American Holistic Services. The
government shall not have a “second bite at the apple,” and the district court must
make its findings on the evidence already in the record. See United States v.
Campbell, 372 F.3d 1179, 1182 (10th Cir. 2004) (“we decline to give [the
government] a second bite at the apple. . . . [o]ur reversal and remand for
resentencing here does not invite an open season for the government to make the
record that it failed to make in the first instance”) (internal citations and
quotations omitted); see also United States v. Poor Bear, 359 F.3d 1038, 1043
(8th Cir. 2004) (directing that “resentencing be conducted on the existing record
without the opportunity to reopen or add to the record”); United States v. Noble,
367 F.3d 681, 682 (7th Cir. 2004) (“the law does not allow” the government to
have “a second opportunity to meet the burden that it failed to carry at the
original sentencing hearing”); United States v. Hudson, 129 F.3d 994, 995 (8th
Appellate Case: 07-2045 Document: 010131879 Date Filed: 09/13/2007 Page: 4
Cir. 1997) (“Because we have clearly stated the governing principles as to when
and how disputed sentencing facts must be proved, we direct that resentencing on
remand be conducted on the existing sentencing record, with no opportunity for
either party to reopen or add to that record.”).
Outcome: For the foregoing reasons we VACATE the portion of the district court’s
restitution order which ordered Brown to pay $4,055.00 for Native American
Holistic Services, and we REMAND to the district court to make specific
findings based on the record evidence with respect to the amount of restitution
payable, if any, for Native American Holistic Services.