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.
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
- 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.