Revoking Supervised Release After It’s Over

In United States v. Janiver, 08-5978-cr (2d Cir. March 25, 2010), the Court reversed a revocation of supervised release, holding that the district court lacked jurisdiction because no warrant or summons was issued before the end of the supervised release term.

18 U.S.C. § 3583(i) provides that “The power of the court to revoke a term of supervised release for violation of a condition of supervised release . . . extends beyond the expiration of the term of supervised release for any period reasonably necessary for the adjudication of matters arising before its expiration if, before its expiration, a warrant or summons has been issued on the basis of an allegation of such a violation.

In Janiver, the district court had ordered a warrant prior to the end of the term of supervised release.  However, “[b]y its own terms, the order does not issue a warrant; it directs someone else to issue one.”  It wasn’t until two days later that the warrant actually issued, and at that point the term of supervised release had expired.  “Had the probation officer here simply taken the trouble to walk the signed form from the judge to the clerk’s office,” the Court explained, “nothing prevented the warrant from being issued on the same day . . . the issuance of the warrant [was] ordered.”  As such, “under the plain terms of the governing statute the district court lacked power to revoke the supervised release term after its expiration based on Janvier’s last-minute violation of the conditions of his release.”