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Name: People v. Foster
Case #: 30-2022-01298571, 30-2023-01309830
Court: CA Superior Court
Opinion Date: 04/26/2024

Penal Code section 1465.9, which was amended by AB 177 to provide that certain “court-imposed costs” are unenforceable and uncollectible, does not apply to interest accrued on the restitution amount owed to a victim under Penal Code section 1202.4, subdivision (f)(3)(G). Thus, defendant's motion to vacate interest accrued on victim restitution was properly denied.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here:

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Name: People v. Berlin (2024) 101 Cal.App.5th 757
Case #: A166452
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 04/26/2024

The trial court erred in ordering restitution after the end of the statutory maximum two-year period of mental health diversion because Penal Code section 1001.36(f)(1)(D), only permits the trial court to order restitution “during the period of diversion.” The trial court dismissed criminal charges against Berlin after she successfully completed mental health diversion, but ordered her to pay over $17,000 in restitution. Berlin appealed, arguing the trial court erred in issuing a restitution order after the end of the two-year period of diversion. Held: Restitution orders reversed. The Court of Appeal concluded the statutory language of section 1002.36 compelled reversal…

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Name: People v. Pittman (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 1252
Case #: A166669
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 02/27/2024

The trial court may rely on a victim estimate included in a police or restitution report when determining the amount of restitution to be awarded. Defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of second degree burglary. At the restitution hearing, the court ordered defendant to pay a total of $6,700 in restitution, consisting of $150 for a safe and $6,550 for various items of jewelry. The values of the items were based on what the victims had provided in the police report. This amount differed from what they later claimed on their restitution report. Defendant appealed. Held: Affirmed. The value of…

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Name: H.B. v. Superior Court (2023) 97 Cal.App.5th 341
Case #: A168069
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 11/17/2023

Penal Code section 1202.4(p) authorized victim restitution for proceeds from acts of prostitution the defendant forced the victim to perform. After defendant pleaded no contest to human trafficking (Pen. Code, § 236.1(a)) and pimping (Pen. Code, § 266h(a)), the victim (H.B.) requested restitution that included $340,500 for money she received and had been taken from her for acts of prostitution defendant forced her to commit, as well as interest accrued. The trial court denied restitution as to the prostitution earnings on the ground that section 1202.4(p) does not expressly authorize restitution for a victim’s labor where that labor is itself…

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Name: People v. Gomez (2023) 97 Cal.App.5th 111
Case #: A164374
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 11/14/2023

Although the evidentiary bar is low, a victim restitution award must be supported by some evidence of the impact of the defendant’s crimes on the particular victim. Defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14 (Pen. Code, § 288(a)). At sentencing, the court read a victim impact statement by Doe, which described defendant as a “setback” in Doe’s life. No additional evidence was presented in advance of or at the restitution hearing. Instead, the prosecution argued that noneconomic damages could be inferred from the nature of the crime. Relying on the…

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Name: People v. Villegas (2023) 97 Cal.App.5th 253
Case #: A164370
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 11/15/2023

Counsel was not ineffective in failing to seek exclusion of defendant’s second statement to police where defendant waived his right to remain silent and then failed to clearly assert this right during questioning before making incriminating statements. Defendant was questioned as to sexual offenses against two alleged victims, waived his Miranda rights, made incriminating statements, and was arrested. Police then learned of a third alleged victim and questioned defendant a second time a couple days later. He waived his Miranda rights a second time and admitted making a “mistake,” but said he would not say anything else. Police detailed the…

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Name: People v. LaRoche (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 1020
Case #: C097431
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/25/2023

Victim restitution can compensate a victim for the cost of the stolen object, but not the victim’s cost of obtaining that object. Defendant pleaded no contest to burglary and other charges after stealing a mounted ram’s head from the victim’s garage. At the restitution hearing, the victim claimed the loss of the ram’s head amounted to $7,500. This was comprised of $6,000 for the associated hunting trip for the ram and included travel to and from a ranch, accommodations, food, the actual hunt itself, plus an additional $1,500 to taxidermize and mount the head. The court imposed $7,500 restitution. Defendant…

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Name: People v. Shah (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 879
Case #: A162676
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 10/24/2023

Penal Code section 186.11 permitted trial court to hold a hearing several years after defendant was sentenced in order to seize his property to ensure full restitution. Prior to Shah’s trial on charges of money laundering, the trial court froze real property assets under section 186.11. Eight years after his conviction and sentence, the court held a hearing to dispose of the frozen assets and levied the properties. Shah appealed, arguing (1) that section 186.11 should be construed to bar the trial court from levying a defendant’s property or assets at any point after sentencing, and (2) that the trial…

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Name: People v. Suazo (2023) 95 Cal.App.5th 681
Case #: F082140
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/19/2023

A predrinking intent to drive is not required before a jury may find implied malice supporting a second degree Watson murder (People v. Watson (1981) 30 Cal.3d 290). Defendant, while intoxicated, drove his vehicle at a high rate of speed off the highway and into an area occupied by an adjacent tractor supply business. When the vehicle hit agricultural equipment the passenger was ejected and killed. Defendant fled. He was convicted of second degree implied malice Watson murder, as well as other counts. He appealed. Held: Remanded for resentencing. Defendant contended the evidence was insufficient to support his murder conviction,…

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Name: People v. Narro (2023) 95 Cal.App.5th 316
Case #: E079444
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 09/07/2023

Restitution to replace furniture that was undamaged but invoked painful memories of the victim’s molestation by defendant was authorized as nonecomonic damages under Penal Code section 1202.4(f)(3)(F). Defendant was convicted of numerous sexual offenses after molesting his two stepdaughters and their friend for a period of over 10 years. On appeal he argued the trial court erred by awarding $9,461.34 in restitution as noneconomic damages under section 1202.4(f)(3)(F) in order for a victim’s mother to replace the furniture where the molestations had occurred as the furniture invoked painful memories. Held: Affirmed. “With one exception, restitution orders are limited to the…

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