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Name: In re Anthony S.
Case #: A140118
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/16/2014

Juvenile court may order minor to pay restitution to injured shooting victim even though evidence showed that treating hospital wrote off bills due to victim’s indigence. The minor admitted committing an assault with a firearm in which he and a co-defendant shot and seriously wounded a victim, resulting in hospital bills over $400,000. At a hearing to set restitution, the manager of patient billing testified that the hospital wrote off the debt as uncollectable after determining the victim was indigent. He also testified that the hospital would not be seeking to recover money from the victim. At the time the debt was written off the hospital was unaware of a criminal proceeding in which the minor may be required to pay the debt owed the hospital. The juvenile court ordered the minor to pay over $80,000 to the victim and he appealed, claiming the order was contrary to Welfare and Institutions Code section 730.6, as there was no evidence the victim “incurred economic losses.” Held: Affirmed. Under section 730.6, there must be substantial evidence the victim incurred economic losses to authorize a restitution order. The victim’s economic losses are calculated without regard to potential reimbursement from an insurer, Medicare, Medi-Cal, or coverage by a medical service provider such as Kaiser. To “incur” means the victim is “liable or subject to” the charge. Here, the hospital sent billing statements to the victim and, even though it wrote off the debt, there is no evidence it did so in such a way it would be barred from seeking reimbursement in the future, as it is now on notice of the restitution order. There was no error.