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Latest in probation cases from the 9th Circuit

US v. Vallee, No. 11-30131 (5-10-12)(Callahan with Hug and D. Nelson).

Does a judge have to sign a summons for a SR violation? "No," said the 9th, because the court read and signed the petition, and ordered a summons

be issued. Here the defendant was oh-so-close to finishing out his SR

term. He was in the final month when he was arrested for drunk driving.

The order was issued four days before his term was to expire. The defendant didn't show for the hearing, and was arrested later, after his SR expired. It was tolled, even though the court didn't sign the summons, because the court did sign the petition and ordered the summons be issued.

The Fed R Crim P do not specifically state who must sign a SR warrant.

Rule 4 states that judges must sign summons on complaints; Rule 9 states that a clerk must sign summons on indictments. Since Rule 9 allows for summons to be signed in some instances by clerks, it can be assumed that Congress, by requiring a court to sign a SR petition, does not require a judge's signature for a SR violation summons or warrant. The 7th Cir.takes a similar approach.