Mont v. United States: Pretrial incarceration on new offense will toll period of supervised release if new sentence gives credit for time served
A federal defendant’s period of supervised release is tolled during pretrial incarceration for a new offense, if the later new sentence credits the period of pretrial detention as time served for the new offense, the Supreme Court held June 3 in Mont v. United States.
James Mont was convicted of various federal offenses, and sentenced to a term of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release. He was released on March 6, 2012, with supervised release scheduled to end March 6, 2017.
On June 1, 2016, Mont was arrested on Ohio drug charges, and held in county jail.
On March 21, 2017, Mont was sentenced on the Ohio charges to six years in prison, with credit for time served in county jail.
In June 2017, the U.S. district court ultimately held a supervised-release hearing, revoked Mont’s supervised release, and ordered that he serve an additional 42 months in prison consecutive to his Ohio sentence.
Mont argued that he could not be revoked because his supervised release term had expired in March 2017. But the Sixth Circuit affirmed the revocation on grounds that the supervised release term had been tolled by his pretrial incarceration on the Ohio charge.
The Supreme Court granted cert. to resolve a conflict among the circuits on tolling.
In a 5-4 opinion, the Court held that, under 18 U.S.C. §3624(e), a period of supervised release is tolled during pretrial detention for a new offense if the later imposed new sentence credits the period of pretrial detention as time served on the new offense.
§3624(e) provides that “a term of supervised release does not run during any period in which the person is imprisoned in connection with a conviction for a Federal, State or local crime unless the imprisonment is for a period of less than 30 consecutive days.”
“This phrase, sensibly read, includes pretrial detention credited toward another sentence for a new conviction,” the Court said.
Both the statue’s text and context compel this result, the Court said.
“This is so even if the [district] court must make the tolling calculation after learning whether the time will be credited,” the Court said.
Applying this ruling to Mont’s case, his supervised release was tolled on June 1, 2016, when he was incarcerated on the Ohio charges. He had several months of supervised release remaining when the district court revoked him, the Court said.
The five member majority was somewhat unusual. Justice Ginsburg joined the majority, while Justices Sotomayor, Breyer, Kagan and Gorsuch dissented.