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Name: People v. Stanley
Case #: C063661
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 08/03/2010
Subsequent History: rev. granted 11/10/10 (S185961)

A trial court has discretion to calculate victim restitution for damage to a car at the costs of repair, even if those costs exceed replacement value. After appellant was convicted of felony vandalism of a 1975 pickup truck, the court order him to pay $2800, which was the body shop repair estimate, even though the victim said she paid $950 for the truck 18 months earlier. Appellant challenged the restitution order, alleging it amounted to a windfall. The court affirmed. First the court noted the restitution statute allows the trial court to assess value of damaged property at replacement cost or actual cost of repair. (Pen. Code, sec. 1202.4, subd. (f)(3)(A).) In other words, the trial court can choose which option as long as repair costs are not so disproportionate to replacement value. Additionally, the court disagreed the victim received an windfall here. The truck was a good bargain at $950. It would be hard to find another 1975 truck of the same make and model in excellent condition. And the longer it would take for the victim to find a comparable truck, the greater her loss-of-use damages would be. Under these circumstances, the fact that repair costs were about three times the purchase price does not mean the victim received a windfall. It simply means she will get her truck back in the same condition it was before it was vandalized by appellant. (Accord In re Dina V. (2007) 151 Cal.App.4th 486, but see People v. Yanez (1995) 38 Cal.App.4th 1622.)