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Name: Luis M. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Case #: B238460
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 10/31/2012
Subsequent History: Review Granted 2/13/2013: S207314

Restitution order that was based on a city’s restitution model for graffiti cleanup, which included sums that were not economic losses by the direct victim of a minor’s vandalism and did not consider any individualized facts, was abuse of discretion. The juvenile court found a section 602 petition alleging vandalism true. The vandalism stemmed from minor’s placing graffiti on walls, signs, and other items belonging to a mobile home park and the City of Lancaster. The minor was placed on deferred entry of judgment and ordered to pay restitution. At the restitution hearing, the City estimated the cost to cleanup minor’s graffiti based on a City restitution model that averaged all of the City’s costs for graffiti cleanup, including costs for law enforcement investigation and maintenance costs for graffiti abatement equipment. The calculation did not reflect consideration of any individualized facts, such as the type of graffiti or the efforts required to remove it. Held: The juvenile court abused its discretion in ordering restitution based on the restitution model. Section 730.6, subdivision (a)(1), provides for restitution for economic losses incurred by the victim as a result of the minor’s conduct. Economic loss incurred by the victim, not monies expended, are covered by the statute. Thus, the costs of law enforcement investigation and the general costs of maintaining equipment used in graffiti abatement are not recoverable as restitution. The restitution model also could not provide the basis for calculating the restitution award because the sums included for cleanup did not reflect the actual cost of the graffiti cleanup in this case. The juvenile court was directed to vacate its order and hold a new hearing.