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Defendant Not Entitled to Refund of Restitution


Case: People v. Al-Shara

Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )


Restitution; People v. Cross; The statutory right to restitution in the Crime Victim’s Rights Act (CVRA) (MCL 780.751 et seq.) & the general restitution statute (MCL 769.1a); MCL 780.766(2) & (11); MCL 769.1a(2) & (11); People v. Turn; Whether defendant was entitled to reimbursement of the restitution he paid; MCL 600.1475; People v. Diermier; Nelson v. Colorado


The court held that the trial court did not err by denying defendant’s request for return of the restitution he paid, but found that remand was required based on new authority. He was convicted of larceny by conversion of more than $1,000 but less than $20,000. The trial court sentenced him to 18 months’ probation and ordered him to pay various costs and fees, including $4,000 in restitution. He paid the required costs, fees, and restitution as part of his probation, and the restitution payment was disbursed to the victim. In a prior appeal, the court reversed. On remand, defendant sought reimbursement of all the fees, including the restitution. The trial court ruled that he was entitled to reimbursement for the costs and fees, but not the restitution. On appeal, the court rejected his argument that Diermieris distinguishable because the defendant in that case did not have her conviction reversed. However, “that defendant’s conviction in this case was reversed is not a meaningful distinction. In holding that the trial court was not required to reimburse the defendant, the Diermier Court did not emphasize that the defendant’s conviction was still valid. Rather, it reasoned that the trial court no longer had possession of the restitution payment and that it had no statutory obligation to reimburse the defendant.” That reasoning “applies with equal force to the circumstances of this case.” Further, Diermier rejected the argument that MCL 600.1475 required the trial court to order the complainant to “tender back” the restitution payment, “and it did not rely on the defendant’s conviction in reaching that conclusion.” Moreover, he failed “to identify a statute or caselaw compelling the trial court to reimburse the restitution amount.” However, in light of new authority, Nelson, the court remanded.

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