Compensation (Restitution)

Restitution can only be ordered if the defendant is convicted of a crime; it is paid by the defendant. Upon a conviction of a felony (and prior to sentencing), the judge in charge of the case will refer the case to the Probation Department for a pre-sentence investigation. A probation agent will review the case and recommend to the judge what sentence he or she finds appropriate. If restitution is requested by the victim, the Restitution Claim Form will assist the probation agent in determining the amount of restitution. Please be aware that the decision to assess restitution is up to the Judge at the time of sentencing.

The following form is a Restitution Claim Form. This form will become part of the Prosecuting Attorney’s file and will aid the Probation Department in determining the amount of restitution to request that the judge order. Restitution can only be ordered for your out-of-pocket expenses directly incurred from this crime.

How to file a Restitution Claim Form

  1. Please print the Restitution Claim Form.
  2. Complete the form. When completing the Itemization of Loss(es) section do not include any items that were recovered undamaged. You may only list your losses on this form, not items covered by insurance. (See Restitution Request Guide)
    You will need to add up all the amounts for the total you are requesting.
    While you may have experienced pain and suffering as a result of this crime, restitution cannot be ordered for this. You may pursue a request for pain and suffering through a separate civil proceeding.
    Failure to complete the form thoroughly and clearly will result in a delay in processing your request.
  3. Attach copies of your bills and/or estimates.
  4. Mail the form and your bills and/or estimates to the Victim’s Rights Unit, 201 McMorran Blvd., Ste. 3308, Port Huron, MI 48060.

If you need any assistance or have any questions please feel free to contact the Victim’s Rights Unit at (810) 985-2301.

About Restitution

The Michigan Constitution gives crime victims the right to receive restitution. The purpose of restitution is to compensate the victim.

Offenses for which restitution must be ordered
The Crime Victim’s Right Act (CVRA) requires restitution for any criminal offense. MCL 780.794(2) requires a court to order restitution at the disposition or sentencing hearing.

Persons or entities entitled to restitution
In all cases, the court must order restitution to victims (including insurance companies that have compensated the victim for losses), and to individuals or entities that have provided services to the victims. The court must order restitution to be paid to the victim or the victim’s estate first.

How restitution is calculated where the offense results in property damage, destruction, loss, or seizure?
If an offense results in damage to or loss or destruction of a victim’s property, or in the seizure or impoundment of a victim’s property, the court may order restitution. If return of the property is impossible, impractical, or inadequate, the court may order the defendant to pay the value of the property on the day it was damaged, lost, or destroyed or the value of the property at sentencing.

How restitution is calculated where the offense results in physical or psychological injury, serious bodily impairment, or death expenses related to physical or psychological injury?
If an offense results in physical or psychological injury to a victim, the court shall order restitution for professional services and devices, physical and occupational therapy, lost income, medical and psychological treatment for the victim’s family, and child care expenses. MCL 780.794(4)(a)-(e).

How restitution is calculated with regard to expenses related to the victim’s death?
If criminal conduct results in the death of a victim, the court must order the restitution be paid to the victim’s estate. MCL 780.794(7).

Triple restitution for serious bodily impairment or death of a victim
If an offense causing bodily injury to the victim also results in the serious impairment of a body function or the death of that victim, the court may order up to three times the amount of restitution otherwise allowed under the CVRA. MCL 780.766(5).

How is restitution paid, and when will I get my money?
After restitution has been ordered by the Judge the defendant must pay the amount of restitution ordered to the court. However, the Judge may allow the defendant to pay over a set period of time with monthly installments. Restitution will be distributed to the Victim(s) by the court. It is imperative that victims keep us up to date with their address.

How does the defendant pay restitution if s/he is in prison?
The Michigan Department of Corrections allows prisoners to hold $50 in their account, any amount over $50 is then garnished, or “swept” monthly. 50% of the swept amount is paid out to the victim and the other 50% is withheld for the court. Typically, the funds are held and not disbursed until $100 has been collected by MDOC (MCL 791.220[h]).

Crime Victims Compensation

The Crime Victims Compensation Board was established to help victims of crime with their medical expenses. If you choose to complete the application, you must complete everything except Section IV, which we will complete when you return it to our office. Do not leave any lines blank on the application (except for Section IV).

After you complete the form, go through the checklist to make sure all the needed documentation is enclosed. Mail the form with the required documentation to our office or drop it off at your convenience. When we receive your application, we will complete Section IV and also enclose a copy of the police report with it and mail it to the Compensation Board in Lansing.

Processing of an application may take 16 to 18 weeks, so it does take quite some time to receive funds. You will receive notification from the Claim Board once they receive your claim. You may refer your questions to the Crime Victim Services Commission at (517) 373-7373 or to the Victim Only Toll Free number of (877) 251-7373, as any questions you have about the status of your application must be directed to them. Also here is a link to their website, you will need to fill out the Application for Crime Victim Compensation form located there (except for Section IV). Please use the Checklist to make sure that you have everything necessary included.

Our office will not disclose your information to the defendant or the defense attorney.

Contact Information

St. Clair County Prosecuting Attorney
201 McMorran Blvd., Suite 3300
Port Huron, MI 48060

Phone: (810) 985-2400
Fax: (810) 985-2424
Email: Prosecuting Attorney

Photos courtesy of the Port Huron Times Herald and St. Clair County Sheriff's Department

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