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Name: People v. Anderson
Case #: S170778
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/22/2010

Under the broad, discretionary authority of Penal Code section 1203.1, a defendant granted probation may be liable for restitution to a non-victim. Appellant was convicted of felony hit based upon striking a 50-year-old man who was jaywalking. Although taken to the hospital, the man died of injuries he sustained. Following the conviction, appellant was granted probation and, as a condition of probation, ordered to make restitution to the hospital for expenses incurred in treating the decedent. On appeal, appellant argued that restitution to the hospital was error because, under Penal Code section 1202.4, the hospital was not a victim for direct restitution purposes. The Supreme Court, stressing that its holding is a narrow one, found that the court did not abuse its discretion in ordering restitution to the hospital as a condition of probation. Restitution as a condition of probation is authorized under Penal Code section 1203.1 and its application is not limited by the terms of section 1202.4, defining “victim.” In this case, restitution to the hospital relieved the family of the decedent of opening probate to deal with the hospital bills; assured that amends were made to society for appellant’s criminal violation; rendered appellant accountable to the financial harm he caused; and contributed to his reformation and rehabilitation. With respect to these aims, restitution to the hospital as a condition of probation was not an abuse of discretion.