Restitution

Restitution is reimbursement from the defendant to the victim(s) for out-of-pocket losses and expenses directly resulting from a crime. It may be included as part of a criminal court-ordered sentence after a defendant enters a plea agreement or is found guilty. Adult restitution is collected by the County Attorney’s Office. Juvenile restitution is handled separately.

How restitution is determined

Restitution is determined by the judge in a criminal case, based on out-of-pocket losses and expenses requested by the victim. The victim must complete a Claim for Restitution form and submit documents supporting the claim.

Types of expenses that can be covered by restitution:

  • Medical or dental expenses
  • Counseling costs
  • Lost wages due to injury
  • The cost of repairing or replacing stolen or damaged property. The losses must be directly related to the crime.
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Billing process

Notification and first bill

Once a judge orders restitution, the order goes to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office for collection. The office sends the defendant an initial notification letter and the first bill.

The initial letter includes:

  • The total restitution owed
  • A warning that failure to pay will result in the case being sent to the Minnesota Department of Revenue and a civil judgment may be entered against the defendant for the amount of the unpaid balance

Standard payment schedule

Defendants have a certain amount of time to pay the restitution.

Payment schedules are based on the amount of restitution:

  • $200 or less – 90 days to pay in full
  • $201-$500 – 180 days to pay in full 
  • $501-$2,500 – one year to pay in full
  • Over $2,500 – duration of probation

The defendant must make regular and substantial payments. If the defendant does not pay according to the payment schedule, or if 60 days pass with no payment, the entire amount is due immediately. Hennepin County Restitution does not set up personalized monthly payment plans.

Making payments

Make check or money order payable to: Hennepin County Restitution.

Mail payments to:

Hennepin County Restitution
300 South Sixth Street
Mail Code 502
Minneapolis, MN 55487

The defendant must begin paying within 60 days of the notification letter and first bill and continue to make payments until they’ve paid the balance in full.

Defendants can check their balance or ask questions about their bill by contacting Hennepin County Restitution at 612-348-2016.

Unpaid restitution

If the defendant does not begin paying within 60 days of notification or does not pay restitution in full according to the required payment schedule, the case may be sent to the Minnesota Department of Revenue and a civil judgment may be entered against the defendant for the amount of the unpaid balance.

Cases sent to the Department of Revenue have a collection fee of up to 25% added to the restitution owed.

The Department of Revenue may, after proper legal process, levy (take) property and assets to collect restitution including:

  • Bank accounts or financial assets
  • Wages
  • Income or property tax refunds, or lottery winnings
  • File liens (legal claims) against the defendant’s real estate or personal property

The department can also:

  • Revoke professional licenses or deny license renewal
  • Subpoena (court-ordered request) personal information
  • Refer the debt to a private collection agency

Restitution may also be converted to an Order for Judgment on behalf of the victim.

Hennepin County Restitution will prepare the Order for Judgment for the victim. Once the Order for Judgment is signed by the judge, a certified copy is sent to the victim, along with directions for docketing (formally filing) the Order for Judgment in civil court. Hennepin County Restitution cannot help recover the civil court judgment.

The Order for Judgment does not guarantee payment. It is another way to try to recover restitution. The judgment stays in effect for ten years. People who owe a civil judgment cannot finance a home or car without paying the judgment.

Learn about the Department of Revenue process.

Learn about the Order for Judgment process.

Victims owed restitution

How restitution is determined

Restitution is determined by the judge in a criminal case, based on out-of-pocket losses and expenses requested by the victim. The victim must complete a Claim for Restitution form and submit documents supporting the claim. Victim advocates can help with this process.

Types of expenses that can be covered by restitution:

  • Medical or dental expenses
  • Counseling costs
  • Lost wages due to injury
  • The cost of repairing or replacing stolen or damaged property. The losses must be directly related to the crime.

Requesting restitution for adult offenses

If your case is charged, a victim-witness advocate will give you a Claim for Restitution form to fill out, to be presented to the court.  

Your request must include supporting documents, such as medical or dental bills, insurance receipts, estimates for replacing or repairing stolen or damaged property, counseling bills, transportation receipts or other documented expenses related to the crime.

How restitution is determined

Restitution is determined by the judge at sentencing. The amount is based on the losses you submit in the Claim for Restitution form and your supporting documents.

Making a claim for restitution does not guarantee the judge will order restitution. The judge can order restitution for the amount you ask for in your claim, a different amount or not at all.

Receiving payment

Defendants must make regular and substantial payments according to a payment schedule to Hennepin County Restitution. If the defendant does not pay on schedule, or if 60 days pass with no payment, the entire amount is due immediately.

Hennepin County Restitution then pays you. This process ensures all payments are recorded and protects the victim.

For questions about the process, contact Hennepin County Restitution at 612-348-4814.

When defendants don’t pay

If the defendant does not challenge the amount ordered, does not begin paying within 60 days of notification, or does not pay in full by the required payment schedule, the county can send the case to the Minnesota Department of Revenue for collection. A collection fee of up to 25% is added to the amount of restitution owed. An Order for Judgment on behalf of the victim will also be requested at this time.

The Department of Revenue may, after proper legal process, levy (take) property and assets to collect restitution including:

  • Bank accounts or financial assets
  • Wages
  • Income or property tax refunds, or lottery winnings
  • File liens (legal claims) against the defendant’s real estate or personal property

The department may also:

  • Revoke professional licenses or deny license renewal
  • Subpoena (court-ordered request) personal information
  • Refer the debt to a private collection agency

Order for Judgment

Restitution may also be converted to an Order for Judgment on your behalf.

Hennepin County Restitution will prepare the Order for Judgment as a service to you. Once the Order for Judgment is signed by the judge, a certified copy is sent to you, along with directions for how you can docket (formally file) the Order for Judgment in civil court. Hennepin County Restitution cannot help you recover the civil court judgment.

The Order for Judgment does not guarantee payment. It is another way to try to recover restitution. The judgment stays in effect for ten years. People who owe a civil judgment cannot finance a home or car without paying the judgment.

Read more about the Order for Judgment process.

Checking the status of your restitution

If restitution has been ordered and you wish to check the status of restitution in your case, contact Hennepin County Restitution at 612-348-4814.

The difference between restitution and reparations

Restitution is ordered by a judge after a defendant has been convicted or pled guilty.

Reparations is assistance that victims apply for through the Crime Victims Reparations Board, a state agency. Reparations can compensate victims for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost wages and other expenses directly related to a crime, however property losses are not eligible. Victims may be eligible for reparations regardless of whether the offender is convicted.

Read more about the Crime Victims Reparations Board.

Restitution for juvenile offenses

Juvenile offenders can be ordered to pay restitution. For questions related to the juvenile process, call 612-348-3845.

Defendants who owe restitution

The amount you owe

The judge in your case determines the amount of restitution you owe. Your attorney should tell you the amount you owe.

Hennepin County Restitution sends you a notification letter and first bill shortly after the case is referred by the court. After that, bills are sent every other month.

Payment schedule

Hennepin County Restitution does not set up monthly payment plans.

Payment schedules are based on the amount of restitution:

  • $200 or less – 90 days to pay in full
  • $201-$500 – 180 days to pay in full
  • $501-$2,500 – one year to pay in full
  • Over $2,500 – duration of probation

You must make regular and substantial payments. If you don’t make payments according to schedule, or if 60 days pass with no payment, the entire amount is due immediately.

The judge or restitution billing staff can grant exceptions to the payment schedule.

For example:

  • The judge orders a different payment schedule
  • You owe a lot of restitution and make a consistent good faith effort toward paying it, like a defendant who owes $10,000 and makes monthly payments of $300.

Checking your balance

Contact Hennepin County Restitution at 612-348-2016.

You’ll receive statements in the mail every other month.  

Making payments

Make check or money order payable to: Hennepin County Restitution.

Mail payments to:

Restitution Hennepin County Restitution
300 South Sixth Street
Mail Code 502
Minneapolis, MN 55487

If you don’t make your payments

If you do not begin paying within 60 days of notification or do not pay restitution in full within the required amount of time, the case may be sent to the Department of Revenue. There will be a collection fee of up to 25% on top of the amount of restitution owed.

The Department of Revenue may, after proper legal process, levy (take) property and assets to collect restitution including:

  • Bank accounts or financial assets
  • Wages
  • Income or property tax refunds, or lottery winnings
  • File liens (legal claims) against your real estate or personal property

The department may also:

  • Revoke professional licenses or deny license renewal
  • Subpoena (court-ordered request) personal information
  • Refer the debt to a private collection agency

Unpaid restitution may also be converted to an Order for Judgment on behalf of the victim in civil court.

Learn more about the Department of Revenue process.

Learn more about Orders for Judgment in civil court.

Challenging the Restitution Order

Defendants have a right to challenge the Restitution Order. They must file their challenge within 30 days of the date on the order by notifying the District Court Administrator and the court may hold a hearing based on the objection. If the defendant plans to challenge a restitution order, the defendant must produce evidence through a detailed sworn affidavit with the challenges and a list of all the reasons why the court should change the restitution amount.

If you haven’t received billing statements or other information

Contact Hennepin County Restitution at 612-348-2016.

If you have questions about your probation or supervised release

Hennepin County Restitution can only address questions related to restitution. Questions about probation or discharge from probation should be directed to Hennepin County Probation. If you have a probation officer, contact that person directly. If you are on administrative probation, call the phone number that corresponds with the first letter of your last name:

A-C

612-348-9237

D-J

612-348-5464

K-O

612-348-2784

P-Z

612-348-8017

Juvenile restitution

Juvenile offenders can be ordered to pay restitution. For questions related to the juvenile process, call 612-348-3845.

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