Thursday, July 2, 2009

Criminal Restitution and Civil Judgments

In Vigilant Insurance Co. v. Chiu (here), the plaintiff insured a company against criminal activity. The defendant, a company employee, stole money from the insured. The insurer paid the insured, receiving an assignment of rights in return, and sued the defendant, obtaining a judgment. The defendant appealed the judgment on the ground that he had already been subject to a restitution order in the criminal proceeding for the same loss.

The court held that the restitution order did not preclude a civil judgment. Restitution judgments are limited to economic losses and don't bear interest; in contrast, civil judgments include non-economic losses and bear interest. Thus, a restitution order does not duplicate a civil judgment. However, pursuant to Penal Code Section 1204(j), money actually paid pursuant to a restitution order shall be credited against a civil judgment arising out of the same wrong. Similarly, money other than interest paid pursuant to a civil judgment shall be credited against a restitution order.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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Thanks for sharing...