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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Default Who is Responsible for the Restitution Fee

    My question involves juvenile law in the State of: California
    Several months ago my son was involved in a altercation that winded him up in juvenile hall. On a night he was with some of his friends. my sons friend received a call from his younger brother stating that his friends: several girls and boys, were being chased and threatened by a group of older guys. They were followed and chased and were scared. My sons friend agreed to go help him. Told them that they would be at there shortly. The scared kids called others to help also.
    My son then arrived as a passanger of the vehicle. When they got out of the car, the group of what they thought were older guys, since they recognized one guy from graduating the year prior, were at their parked vehicle. My son threw a soda from a fast food restarant at the group to scare them. One guy walked toward my son and my son pushed him back. After that, some of my sons friends and the other group of boys called, started to fist fight. The older guy that they recognized from graduating, went to his car and pulled out a object to scare them away. He went up to my sons friend and hit him with it. The friend getting hit took it out of the guys hand and hit him back repeatedly. Causing injury to this man. All the kids were shouting to stop, they all got scared and ran off. The injured guys friend called the police. The next week half the group was arrested at school and sent to juvenile hall. My son was released on EMP. They removed the device and put him on home supervision until the desposition hearing. My son followed all requirements and did not break any violations. They dropped three misdomenors if my son admitted to the pushing and soda throwing with a charge of battery. He agreed. He knew those actions were wrong.
    With all that he was given a month in juvie and community service.
    The family wants restition for suffering and loss of work. Will my son be reponsible even if he did not hit the guy? Just for being involved?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Who is Responsible for the Restitution Fee

    Quote Quoting kittyc
    View Post
    Several months ago my son was involved in a altercation that winded him up in juvenile hall. On a night he was with some of his friends. my sons friend received a call from his younger brother stating that his friends: several girls and boys, were being chased and threatened by a group of older guys. They were followed and chased and were scared. My sons friend agreed to go help him. Told them that they would be at there shortly. The scared kids called others to help also.
    Hopefully your son has figured out that this is a situation that should have been handled by local law enforcement. Those who cast themselves in the role of "going to help" often leave such scenes much less alive than when they arrived.

    My son threw a soda from a fast food restarant at the group to scare them.
    That's why they're wanting to nail him on some part of the event - because it sounds like he instigated at least part of the events by throwing the soda.

    One guy walked toward my son and my son pushed him back. After that, some of my sons friends and the other group of boys called, started to fist fight. The older guy that they recognized from graduating, went to his car and pulled out a object to scare them away.
    Fortunately it sounds like that object wasn't a gun. He got VERY lucky.

    He went up to my sons friend and hit him with it. The friend getting hit took it out of the guys hand and hit him back repeatedly. Causing injury to this man. All the kids were shouting to stop, they all got scared and ran off. The injured guys friend called the police.
    Yes, usually the ones who lose such confrontations want to summon police.


    They dropped three misdomenors if my son admitted to the pushing and soda throwing with a charge of battery. He agreed. He knew those actions were wrong. With all that he was given a month in juvie and community service. The family wants restition for suffering and loss of work. Will my son be reponsible even if he did not hit the guy? Just for being involved?
    He admitted to being involved, and plead guilty to part of the crime that produced injury. If the family comes after HIM, they could win a judgement, but I'd suspect they'd try to go after the actual striking party first or in conjunction.
    Catherine NeSmith
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    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Who is Responsible for the Restitution Fee

    The question is about restitution, not a civil judgment.

    I expect that the court will order him to pay restitution. I would not be surprised if he's ordered to pay a percentage while remaining potentially on the hook for all of the restitution, as courts typically don't want the victim to go out-of-pocket if some of the offenders can't or won't pay their share.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2010
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    Oklahoma
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    Default Re: Who is Responsible for the Restitution Fee

    Your son will only be responsible for restitution due to his actions. So the injured party could get restitution from your son for any injuries caused by the thrown soda. The injuries caused by being struck with an object would be ordered to the youth who performed that action. Second, restituation can only be paid for the medical expenses from the soda, or lost wages from his "soda" injuries (which I would argue is minimal since the guy was able to go to his car). The court can not order resitituion for pain and suffering, thats a civil matter.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Who is Responsible for the Restitution Fee

    I disagree with your argument about restitution being limited to the bottle-throwing portion of the incident. First, the plea bargain isn't limited to the throwing of the bottle, it's for "the pushing and soda throwing with a charge of battery". I expect that the prosecutor will argue concert of action, and perhaps even have conditioned the plea upon the payment of restitution. Second, the court has significant discretion when it comes to apportionment of restitution between codefendants.
    Quote Quoting California Welfare and Institutions Code, Sec. 730.6.
    (a)
    (1) It is the intent of the Legislature that a victim of conduct for which a minor is found to be a person described in Section 602 who incurs any economic loss as a result of the minor's conduct shall receive restitution directly from that minor.
    (2) Upon a minor being found to be a person described in Section 602, the court shall consider levying a fine in accordance with Section 730.5. In addition, the court shall order the minor to pay, in addition to any other penalty provided or imposed under the law, both of the following:
    (A) A restitution fine in accordance with subdivision (b).

    (B) Restitution to the victim or victims, if any, in accordance with subdivision (h).
    (b) In every case where a minor is found to be a person described in Section 602, the court shall impose a separate and additional restitution fine. The restitution fine shall be set at the discretion of the court and commensurate with the seriousness of the offense as follows:
    (1) If the minor is found to be a person described in Section 602 by reason of the commission of one or more felony offenses, the restitution fine shall not be less than one hundred dollars ($100) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000). A separate hearing for the fine shall not be required.

    (2) If the minor is found to be a person described in Section 602 by reason of the commission of one or more misdemeanor offenses, the restitution fine shall not exceed one hundred dollars ($100). A separate hearing for the fine shall not be required.
    (c) The restitution fine shall be in addition to any other disposition or fine imposed and shall be imposed regardless of the minor's inability to pay. This fine shall be deposited in the Restitution Fund, the proceeds of which shall be distributed pursuant to Section 13967 of the Government Code.

    (d)
    (1) In setting the amount of the fine pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), the court shall consider any relevant factors including, but not limited to, the minor's ability to pay, the seriousness and gravity of the offense and the circumstances of its commission, any economic gain derived by the minor as a result of the offense, and the extent to which others suffered losses as a result of the offense. The losses may include pecuniary losses to the victim or his or her dependents as well as intangible losses such as psychological harm caused by the offense.

    (2) The consideration of a minor's ability to pay may include his or her future earning capacity. A minor shall bear the burden of demonstrating a lack of his or her ability to pay.
    (e) Express findings of the court as to the factors bearing on the amount of the fine shall not be required.

    (f) Except as provided in subdivision (g), under no circumstances shall the court fail to impose the separate and additional restitution fine required by subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a). This fine shall not be subject to penalty assessments pursuant to Section 1464 of the Penal Code.

    (g) In a case in which the minor is a person described in Section 602 by reason of having committed a felony offense, if the court finds that there are compelling and extraordinary reasons, the court may waive imposition of the restitution fine required by subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a). When a waiver is granted, the court shall state on the record all reasons supporting the waiver.

    (h) Restitution ordered pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) shall be imposed in the amount of the losses, as determined. If the amount of loss cannot be ascertained at the time of sentencing, the restitution order shall include a provision that the amount shall be determined at the direction of the court at any time during the term of the commitment or probation. The court shall order full restitution unless it finds compelling and extraordinary reasons for not doing so, and states them on the record. A minor's inability to pay shall not be considered a compelling or extraordinary reason not to impose a restitution order, nor shall inability to pay be a consideration in determining the amount of the restitution order. A restitution order pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), to the extent possible, shall identify each victim, unless the court for good cause finds that the order should not identify a victim or victims, and the amount of each victim's loss to which it pertains, and shall be of a dollar amount sufficient to fully reimburse the victim or victims for all determined economic losses incurred as the result of the minor's conduct for which the minor was found to be a person described in Section 602, including all of the following:
    (1) Full or partial payment for the value of stolen or damaged property. The value of stolen or damaged property shall be the replacement cost of like property, or the actual cost of repairing the property when repair is possible.

    (2) Medical expenses.

    (3) Wages or profits lost due to injury incurred by the victim, and if the victim is a minor, wages or profits lost by the minor's parent, parents, guardian, or guardians, while caring for the injured minor. Lost wages shall include any commission income as well as any base wages. Commission income shall be established by evidence of commission income during the 12-month period prior to the date of the crime for which restitution is being ordered, unless good cause for a shorter time period is shown.

    (4) Wages or profits lost by the victim, and if the victim is a minor, wages or profits lost by the minor's parent, parents, guardian, or guardians, due to time spent as a witness or in assisting the police or prosecution. Lost wages shall include any commission income as well as any base wages. Commission income shall be established by evidence of commission income during the 12-month period prior to the date of the crime for which restitution is being ordered, unless good cause for a shorter time period is shown.
    A minor shall have the right to a hearing before a judge to dispute the determination of the amount of restitution. The court may modify the amount on its own motion or on the motion of the district attorney, the victim or victims, or the minor. If a motion is made for modification of a restitution order, the victim shall be notified of that motion at least 10 days prior to the hearing on the motion. When the amount of victim restitution is not known at the time of disposition, the court order shall identify the victim or victims, unless the court finds for good cause that the order should not identify a victim or victims, and state that the amount of restitution for each victim is to be determined. When feasible, the court shall also identify on the court order, any cooffenders who are jointly and severally liable for victim restitution.

    (i) A restitution order imposed pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) shall identify the losses to which it pertains, and shall be enforceable as a civil judgment pursuant to subdivision (r). The making of a restitution order pursuant to this subdivision shall not affect the right of a victim to recovery from the Restitution Fund in the manner provided elsewhere, except to the extent that restitution is actually collected pursuant to the order. Restitution collected pursuant to this subdivision shall be credited to any other judgments for the same losses obtained against the minor or the minor's parent or guardian arising out of the offense for which the minor was found to be a person described in Section 602. Restitution imposed shall be ordered to be made to the Restitution Fund to the extent that the victim, as defined in subdivision (j), has received assistance from the Victims of Crime Program pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 13959) of Chapter 5 of Part 4 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

    (j) For purposes of this section, "victim" shall include:
    (1) The immediate surviving family of the actual victim.

    (2) Any governmental entity that is responsible for repairing, replacing, or restoring public or privately owned property that has been defaced with graffiti or other inscribed material, as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 594, and that has sustained an economic loss as the result of a violation of Section 594, 594.3, 594.4, 640.5, 640.6, or 640.7 of the Penal Code.
    (k) Nothing in this section shall prevent a court from ordering restitution to any corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, joint venture, government, governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, or any other legal or commercial entity when that entity is a direct victim of an offense.

    (l) Upon a minor being found to be a person described in Section 602, the court shall require as a condition of probation the payment of restitution fines and orders imposed under this section. Any portion of a restitution order that remains unsatisfied after a minor is no longer on probation shall continue to be enforceable by a victim pursuant to subdivision (r) until the obligation is satisfied in full.

    (m) Probation shall not be revoked for failure of a person to make restitution pursuant to this section as a condition of probation unless the court determines that the person has willfully failed to pay or failed to make sufficient bona fide efforts to legally acquire the resources to pay.

    (n) If the court finds and states on the record compelling and extraordinary reasons why restitution should not be required as provided in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), the court shall order, as a condition of probation, that the minor perform specified community service.

    (o) The court may avoid ordering community service as a condition of probation only if it finds and states on the record compelling and extraordinary reasons not to order community service in addition to the finding that restitution pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) should not be required.

    (p) When a minor is committed to the Department of the Youth Authority, the court shall order restitution to be paid to the victim or victims, if any. Payment of restitution to the victim or victims pursuant to this subdivision shall take priority in time over payment of any other restitution fine imposed pursuant to this section.

    (q) At its discretion, the board of supervisors of any county may impose a fee to cover the actual administrative cost of collecting the restitution fine, not to exceed 10 percent of the amount ordered to be paid, to be added to the restitution fine and included in the order of the court, the proceeds of which shall be deposited in the general fund of the county.

    (r) If the judgment is for a restitution fine ordered pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), or a restitution order imposed pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), the judgment may be enforced in the manner provided in Section 1214 of the Penal Code.
    Under Sec. 730.7, in most cases "a parent or guardian who has joint or sole legal and physical custody and control of the minor shall be rebuttably presumed to be jointly and severally liable with the minor" for restitution.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Who is Responsible for the Restitution Fee

    You should check your son's actual court order to see if restitution was ordered, what portion of the restitution was ordered for your son, and if the restitution was ordered "joint and several" to all minors involved. It is important to understand that in matters of juveniles ordered to pay restitution, that CA law provides that juvenile restitution orders are usually jointly and severally the responsibility of the parent as well. (see prior post)

    The Probation Officer assigned to your son should be able to answer most of your questions.

    The Court's primary concern is rightly helping the victim be made whole from the criminal actions of the defendant(s).

    Restitution in California also accrues 10% interest per year on any portion unpaid. Some jurisdictions add this automatically while other jurisdictions require the victim to submit periodic claims.

    The Court should also offer the defendants and their parents the opportunity to have a restitution hearing to validate the claims of the victim(s) and then make an order citing the actual amount of resititution due from each minor. Each victim should be provided with an Order of Restitution (form JV-790) detailing how much and whom is responsible for paying. The restitution hearing will be your opportunity to reason with the Court regarding the amount and scope of restitution.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2011
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    2

    Default Re: Who is Responsible for the Restitution Fee

    Do the parents finances matter any? On the court order we have a restitution fee of less then $100. We have another hearing to go over the other vicitm. His family is stating over 13000 dollars of restitution. Is that possible?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Who is Responsible for the Restitution Fee

    We can't see the "court paper" from here, and thus cannot tell you the significance of the reference to restitution.

    It is quite possible that when you beat somebody with a weapon and cause them to require emergency medical treatment and hospitalization, you can cause that person to have a five figure medical bill.

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