Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, October 21, 2022


Page 1


Delinquency Judge May Not Consider Impact of Large Restitution Order on Rehabilitation—C.A.

Full Payment for Damages Must Be Ordered Except

Under Extraordinary Circumstances, Opinion Says


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Court of Appeal for this district yesterday rejected the contention of a juvenile offender that a judge erred in imposing on him an order to make victim restitution in the amount of $126,640.07 without considering the negative impact of so huge a burden on his rehabilitation.

San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Linda D. Hurst was statutorily justified in issuing the order in question to the juvenile vandal and his parents, Justice Hernaldo J. Baltodano of Div. Six said in an unpublished opinion.

 In 2019, “L.B.,” then 12, committed a trespass onto the property of Keith Garl’s and, driving a tractor, bashed into a fence and damaged equipment.

“L.B. contends the amount of restitution is ‘unusually harsh [and] burdensome’ and negatively impacts his rehabilitation,” Baltodano recited. “But the court was not required to consider these factors in determining the amount of restitution.”

He pointed to Welfare and Institutions Code §730.6(h)(1) which says:

“The court shall order full restitution unless it finds compelling and extraordinary reasons for not doing so, and states them on the record. A minor’s inability to pay shall not be considered a compelling or extraordinary reason not to impose a restitution order, nor shall inability to pay be a consideration in determining the amount of the restitution order. A restitution order…shall be of a dollar amount sufficient to fully reimburse the victim or victims for all determined economic losses incurred as the result of the minor’s conduct….”

Baltodano said:

“Here, as required by section 730.6, subdivision (h)(1), the court determined Garl’s economic losses and ordered restitution to reimburse him for repairs and cleanup expenses stemming from the damage to his equipment and property caused by L.B.’s vandalism.  L.B. did not present any compelling or extraordinary reasons not to do so.”

The case is In re L.B., B317426.


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