U.S. v. Campbell, No. 97-5593

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtMOORE
Citation168 F.3d 263
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. James E. CAMPBELL, Defendant-Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 97-5593
Decision Date29 March 1999

Page 263

168 F.3d 263
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
James E. CAMPBELL, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 97-5593.
United States Court of Appeals,
Sixth Circuit.
Argued Aug. 26, 1998.
Decided Feb. 17, 1999.
Rehearing Denied March 29, 1999.

Page 264

Harold B. McDonough, Asst. U.S. Atty. (argued and briefed), Nashville, TN, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Sumter L. Camp, Asst. Federal Public Defender (argued and briefed), Nashville, TN, for Defendant-Appellant.

Before: BATCHELDER and MOORE, Circuit Judges; SMITH, * District Judge.

OPINION

MOORE, Circuit Judge.

Defendant Campbell appeals the decision of the district court, which held that it lacked discretion under this court's prior remand to reconsider the quantity of drugs for which Campbell was held accountable despite a purported change in the Sentencing Guidelines. The district court held that the remand of this court limited it solely to the reconsideration of the fine imposed on Campbell. For the reasons stated below, we AFFIRM.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURE

A jury convicted James Campbell in 1990 of distribution of cocaine and conspiracy to distribute cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 845a, and 846. The district court sentenced Campbell to 293 months in prison and eight years of supervised release and imposed a fine of $100,000. This court affirmed the conviction and sentence. See United States v. Campbell, No. 90-5579, 1991 WL 224103 (6th Cir.1991) (unpublished opinion).

Two years later, the warden of Campbell's prison, along with the Probation Office, suggested to the district court that Campbell would benefit if the court declared his fine due and payable immediately. See Joint Appendix ("J.A.") at 67-69. In May of 1993 the district court, authorized by FED. R.CRIM. P. 32.1(b), 1 and over Campbell's objection, entered an order to that effect. J.A. at 75. The order suspended interest on the fine until thirty days after Campbell's release.

The fine was calculated using erroneous information that Campbell possessed certain valuable assets. See United States v. Campbell,

Page 265

No. 95-5856, 1995 WL 758468, * 1 (6th Cir.1995) (unpublished opinion). Campbell, over his objection, was placed within an "inmate financial responsibility program" from which inmates make fine payments through a federal work program. Id. Furthermore, interest was added to his fine despite the district court's contrary order. At the rate of interest charged, Campbell's fine would have exceeded one million dollars by the time of his release.

Campbell appealed the district court's order, and this court reversed and remanded for a hearing on Campbell's available assets and his financial situation at the original sentencing hearing. This court found the placement of Campbell in the financial program and the charge of interest on the fine, which would amount at the time of his release to approximately one million dollars, to be erroneous. Id.

On remand Campbell sought to expand the scope of resentencing by arguing that amendments to Sentencing Guideline § 1B1.3 altered the previous calculation of drug quantity and that his sentence should be modified accordingly. The district court found that the scope of the remand prevented it from considering any issues other than the proper assessment of the fine. Campbell appealed from that decision.

II. ANALYSIS

A. The Mandate Rule and Resentencing

The basic tenet of the mandate rule is that a district court is bound to the scope of the remand issued by the court of appeals. Under 28 U.S.C. § 2106 the courts of appeals have broad discretion to issue general or limited remands. 2 See United States v. Moore, 131 F.3d 595, 597 (6th Cir.1997); United States v. Garafano, 61 F.3d 113, 116 (1st Cir.1995) (interpreting § 2106 to "allow appellate courts the flexibility to adapt their mandates to the particular problem discerned on appeal and to provide an efficient and sensible solution"). Traditionally, the mandate rule instructs that the district court is without authority to expand its inquiry beyond the matters forming the basis of the appellate court's remand. See United States v. Hicks, 146 F.3d 1198, 1200 (10th Cir.1998) (mandate rule "generally requires trial court conformity with the articulated appellate remand" (citation omitted)).

Remands, however, can be either general or limited in scope. Limited remands explicitly outline the issues to be addressed by the district court and create a narrow framework within which the district court must operate. See, e.g., Moore, 131 F.3d at 598 ("[A] limited remand constrains the district court's resentencing authority to the issue or issues remanded."). General remands, in contrast, give district courts authority to address all matters as long as remaining consistent with the remand. Id. at 597.

In essence, the mandate rule is a specific application of the law-of-the-case doctrine. See Jones v. Lewis, 957 F.2d 260, 262 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 506 U.S. 841, 113 S.Ct. 125, 121 L.Ed.2d 80 (1992) (explaining that "the trial court may consider those issues not decided expressly or impliedly by the appellate court or a previous trial court"); United States v. Bell, 988 F.2d 247, 251 (1st Cir.1993). Under the doctrine of the law of the case, determinations of the court of appeals of issues of law are binding on both the district court on remand and the court of appeals upon subsequent appeal. See United States v. Moored, 38 F.3d 1419, 1421 (6th Cir.1994).

The courts of appeals differ on their approach to remands for resentencing under the Sentencing Guidelines. A majority of the circuits that have spoken on this issue, including this one, follow a basic rule that a district court can review sentencing matters de novo unless the remand specifically limits the lower court's inquiry. See Moore, 131

Page 266

F.3d at 598; United States v. Caterino, 29 F.3d 1390, 1394-95 (9th Cir.1994); United States v. Cornelius, 968 F.2d 703 (8th Cir.1992); United States v. Smith, 930 F.2d 1450, 1456 (10th Cir.), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 879, 112 S.Ct. 225, 116 L.Ed.2d 182 (1991); United States v. Sanchez Solis, 882 F.2d 693, 699 (2d Cir.1989). The policy underlying the presumption of de novo resentencing is to give the district judge discretion to consider and balance all of the competing elements of the sentencing calculus.

A minority of circuits disagrees with the de novo consideration on resentencing approach. These circuits view de novo consideration of sentencing upon remand as giving the defendant an unwarranted "second bite at the apple." See United States v. Marmolejo, 139 F.3d 528, 531 (5th Cir.) ("specifically reject[ing] the proposition that all resentencing hearings following a remand are to be conducted de novo unless expressly limited by the court in its order of remand"), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 119 S.Ct. 622, 142 L.Ed.2d 561 (1998); United States v. Parker, 101 F.3d 527, 528 (7th Cir.1996) (rejecting any previous Seventh Circuit case law implying "that a remand limits the issues open to consideration on remand only if the opinion or order directing it so states"). The explanation of the courts of appeals subscribing to this approach is that every remand, by its nature, limits the district court to review of only those issues which led the appellate court to order the remand. See Marmolejo, 139 F.3d at 531 (holding that "[t]he fact that the appellate court did not expressly limit the scope of the remand order did not imply that a full blown sentencing hearing was permissible for a second time"). In these circuits the courts of appeals need not explicitly state that the remand is so limited. One reason underlying this approach, in addition to preventing the defendant from having two chances at sentencing, appears to be avoiding multiple appeals and the unnecessary prolonging of a case. See id. (stating "[i]t serves both justice as well as judicial economy to require a defendant to raise all relevant and appealable issues at the original sentencing" (emphasis added)).

This court has recognized the inherent problems that arise as a result of multiple appeals and protracted litigation. See, e.g., Moore, 131 F.3d at 599 (hearing the third appeal in the same case). Courts following the de novo approach to resentencing are not without medicine to treat this epidemic. The point of the limited remand is to inform the district court that a discrete issue has caused the need for review, but that complete reconsideration on resentencing is unnecessary and unwarranted. Such practice, if properly undertaken, not only can significantly expedite the district court's future work on the case, but also can substantially limit the possibility that this court will be confronted repeatedly with the same defendant, and the same sentence. "While we recognize that this court has in the past and will continue in the future to issue general remands, there are times when judicial economy favors limited remands." Id.

No case law from this circuit clearly sets forth universally applicable standards for determining whether a remand should be construed as limited or general. Although the particular intricacies of each case will influence such a determination, this court has established relevant principles.

In United States v. Moored, 38 F.3d 1419 (6th Cir.1994), this court articulated...

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    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • March 5, 2015
    ...Its fundamental principle is straightforward: A district court may not contravene an appellate court's mandate. United States v. Campbell, 168 F.3d 263, 265 (6th Cir.1999). For instance, if a case is remanded, the mandate rule “forecloses relitigation of issues expressly or impliedly decide......
  • United States v. Richardson, Nos. 17-2157/2183
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • January 27, 2020
    ..., 131 F.3d 595, 598 (6th Cir. 1997), and underscore that the scope of our remand binds the district court. United States v. Campbell , 168 F.3d 263, 265 (6th Cir. 1999). Indeed, a district court is "without jurisdiction to modify or change the mandate." Tapco Prods. Co. v. Van Mark Prods. C......
  • Rochow v. Life Ins. Co. of N. Am., No. 12–2074.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • March 5, 2015
    ...Its fundamental principle is straightforward: A district court may not contravene an appellate court's mandate. United States v. Campbell, 168 F.3d 263, 265 (6th Cir.1999). For instance, if a case is remanded, the mandate rule “forecloses relitigation of issues expressly or impliedly decide......
  • Brentwood Academy v. Tennessee Secondary, No. 03-5245.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • March 17, 2006
    ...We should properly review the district court's decision, but we cannot change the rules after the fact. See United States v. Campbell, 168 F.3d 263, 265 (6th Cir. 1999) ("Determinations of the court of appeals of issues of law are binding on both the district court on remand and the Page 42......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
147 cases
  • Rochow v. Life Ins. Co. of N. Am., No. 12–2074.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • March 5, 2015
    ...Its fundamental principle is straightforward: A district court may not contravene an appellate court's mandate. United States v. Campbell, 168 F.3d 263, 265 (6th Cir.1999). For instance, if a case is remanded, the mandate rule “forecloses relitigation of issues expressly or impliedly decide......
  • United States v. Richardson, Nos. 17-2157/2183
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • January 27, 2020
    ..., 131 F.3d 595, 598 (6th Cir. 1997), and underscore that the scope of our remand binds the district court. United States v. Campbell , 168 F.3d 263, 265 (6th Cir. 1999). Indeed, a district court is "without jurisdiction to modify or change the mandate." Tapco Prods. Co. v. Van Mark Prods. C......
  • Rochow v. Life Ins. Co. of N. Am., No. 12–2074.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • March 5, 2015
    ...Its fundamental principle is straightforward: A district court may not contravene an appellate court's mandate. United States v. Campbell, 168 F.3d 263, 265 (6th Cir.1999). For instance, if a case is remanded, the mandate rule “forecloses relitigation of issues expressly or impliedly decide......
  • Brentwood Academy v. Tennessee Secondary, No. 03-5245.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • March 17, 2006
    ...We should properly review the district court's decision, but we cannot change the rules after the fact. See United States v. Campbell, 168 F.3d 263, 265 (6th Cir. 1999) ("Determinations of the court of appeals of issues of law are binding on both the district court on remand and the Page 42......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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