Sixth Circuit Notes Split Re Whether 18 U.S.C. whether § 3583(i) Nevertheless Contains an Implicit Sworn-Facts Requirement

Per U.S. v. Madden, --- F.3d ----, 2008 WL 199540 (6th Cir. Jan. 25, 2008):

At the outset, we note that the plain language of the statute does not require that a warrant or summons relating to a supervised-release violation be supported by probable cause. See 18 U.S.C. § 3583(i) (requiring only that “a warrant or summons has been issued on the basis of an allegation of such a violation”). There is a dispute among our sister circuits over whether § 3583(i) nevertheless contains an implicit sworn-facts requirement. Compare United States v. VargasAmaya, 389 F.3d 901, 904 (9th Cir.2004) (concluding that, by its terms, a “warrant” is a “document that is based on probable cause and supported by sworn facts”), with United States v. GarciaAvalino, 444 F.3d 444, 445 (5th Cir.2006) (rejecting the notion “that there is an implicit sworn-facts requirement embedded in the very meaning of the word ‘warrant’ as a legal term,” and concluding that the district court had jurisdiction over the defendant under § 3583(i) regardless of whether the warrant was supported by sworn facts). We have no need to resolve this question in the present case because, even if we were to decide that the district court's reliance on a warrant not supported by probable cause constituted an error, the very existence of a reasonable disagreement on this point precludes the conclusion that the error was plain. See United States v. Alexander, 217 F. App'x 417, 422 (6th Cir.2007) (citing the “conflicting precedents” among the circuits to conclude that an error was not plain); United States v. Williams, 53 F.3d 769, 772 (6th Cir.1995) (concluding that a “circuit split precludes a finding of plain error”).


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