NO. 51. AN ACT RELATING TO RESTITUTION PROCEDURES.
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. LEGISLATIVE INTENT
It is the intent of the general assembly that the crime victims’ restitution special fund be used to reimburse individuals who are victims of crime. Businesses and government entities shall continue to receive restitution from the restitution unit as it is collected from offenders.
Sec. 2. 13 V.S.A. § 5362 is amended to read:
§ 5362. RESTITUTION UNIT
(a) A restitution unit is created within the center for crime victim services for purposes of assuring that crime victims receive restitution when it is ordered by the court.
(b) The restitution unit shall administer the restitution fund established under section 5363 of this title.
(c) The restitution unit shall have the authority to:
Collect restitution from the
defendant offender when it is
ordered by the court on or after July 1, 2004 , deposit the funds collected into the restitution fund, and make
payments to victims out of the fund under
section 7043 of this title.
Collect restitution from the defendant when it is ordered by the court prior
to July 1, 2004 and make payments to victims. Restitution Bring an action to enforce a restitution
obligation as a civil judgment under section 7043 of this title. The
restitution unit shall enforce restitution orders issued prior to
July 1, 2004 shall be enforced pursuant to the law in effect on the
date the order is issued.
Bring an action to enforce a restitution order issued on or after July 1 2004
as a civil judgment under section 7043 of this title. (4)(A) Share
and access information, consistent with Vermont and federal law, from the
court, the department of corrections, the department of motor vehicles,
the department of taxes, and the department of employment and training in order
to carry out its collection and enforcement functions.
(B) Provide information to the department of corrections concerning supervised offenders, including an offender’s restitution payment history and balance, address and contact information, employment information, and information concerning the restitution unit’s collection efforts.
(4) Investigate and verify the amount of insurance or other payments paid to or for the benefit of a victim, and adjust the amount disbursed to the victim from the crime victims’ restitution special fund accordingly.
(5) Adopt such administrative rules as are reasonably necessary to carry out the purposes set forth in this section.
Sec. 3. 13 V.S.A. § 5363 is amended to read:
§ 5363. CRIME VICTIMS’ RESTITUTION SPECIAL FUND
(a) There is hereby established in the state treasury a fund to be known as the crime victims’ restitution special fund, to be administered by the restitution unit established by section 5362 of this title, and from which payments may be made to provide restitution to crime victims.
(b)(1) There shall be deposited into the fund:
monies , except for monies given to the victims compensation fund under
subdivisions 7043(h)(3) and (j)(2) of this title, collected from persons
against whom restitution has been ordered on or after July 1, 2004 collected
by the restitution unit pursuant to section 7043 of this title. (2)(B) All
fees imposed by the clerk of court and designated for deposit into the fund
pursuant to section 7282 of this title. (3)(C) All monies donated to the restitution unit or the
crime victims’ restitution special fund. (4)(D) Such
sums as may be appropriated to the fund by the general assembly.
(2) If a person donates funds, or if a restitution recipient has declined to accept payment of restitution, the donated or declined amounts shall be retained in the crime victims’ restitution special fund.
(c) The restitution unit shall make disbursements from the restitution special fund only to pay restitution obligations arising under section 7043 of this title, to support the restitution unit, or pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.
(d)(1) The restitution unit is authorized to advance up to $10,000.00 to a victim or to a deceased victim’s heir or legal representative if the victim:
(A) was first ordered by the court to receive restitution on or after July 1, 2004;
(B) is a natural person or the natural person’s legal representative; and
(C) has not been reimbursed under subdivision (2) of this subsection.
(2) The restitution unit may make advances of up to $10,000.00 under this subsection to the following persons or entities:
(A) A victim service agency approved by the restitution unit if the agency has advanced monies which would have been payable to a victim under subdivision (1) of this subsection.
(B) A victim who is a natural person or the natural person’s legal representative in a case where the defendant, before or after an adjudication of guilt, enters into a drug court contract requiring payment of restitution.
(3) An advance under this subsection shall not be made to the government or to any governmental subdivision or agency.
(e) If the restitution unit collects in excess of $10,000.00 from an offender, the amount in excess of $10,000.00 shall first be paid to that offender’s victims until the victims have received the full amount of restitution ordered. Any excess remaining after the victims have received the full amount of restitution ordered shall be divided between the victims’ compensation fund and the crime victims’ special restitution fund in proportion to the amount which each paid.
(f)(1) In no event shall the amount of restitution advanced to the victims of a single crime spree during a single fiscal year under this title exceed five percent of the balance of the fund at the end of the prior fiscal year. If this section applies, an advance payment to a victim shall be reduced by the same percentage that the restitution unit reduces the total amount advanced to all victims in connection with the crime spree. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the restitution unit shall determine the offenders and crimes encompassed within a crime spree.
(2) A victim whose advance payment is reduced pursuant to this subsection shall be entitled to receive additional advance payments during subsequent fiscal years until the restitution order has been satisfied or the $10,000.00 cap has been reached, whichever occurs first.
balances in the fund at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward and
remain a part of the fund. Disbursements from the fund shall be made by the
state treasurer on warrants drawn by the commissioner of finance and management.
Notwithstanding anything in this section or any other provision of law to the
contrary, revenue from the surcharge fees deposited into the crime victims’
restitution special fund shall be used exclusively to support the restitution
unit and restitution for crime victims, and for no other purpose.
Sec. 4. 13 V.S.A. § 5364 is added to read:
§ 5364. SUBROGATION LIEN
The state shall be subrogated to the rights of the victim, assignee, heir, or dependent to whom restitution payments are made to the extent of the payments made. The state shall have a lien therefor and may commence an action or intervene in any action to protect and enforce such lien. Such subrogation rights shall be against any person liable for the pecuniary loss.
Sec. 5. 13 V.S.A. § 7043 is amended to read:
§ 7043. RESTITUTION
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(c) In awarding restitution, the court shall make findings with respect to:
The total amount of the material loss incurred by the victim. If sufficient
documentation of the material loss is not available at the time of sentencing,
the court shall set a hearing on the issue, and notice thereof shall be
provided to the
defendant’s offender’s current ability to pay restitution,
based on all financial information which the defendant has filed with
the court available to the court, including information provided by the
An order of restitution shall establish the amount of the material loss
incurred by the victim, which shall be the restitution judgment order. In the
defendant offender is unable to pay the restitution
judgment order at the time of sentencing, the court shall establish a
restitution payment schedule for the defendant offender based
upon the defendant’s offender’s current and reasonably
foreseeable ability to pay, subject to modification under subsection (k) of
(2)(A) Every order of restitution shall:
defendant’s offender’s name, address and social
include the name, address, and telephone number of the
offender’s employer; and
defendant offender, until his or her restitution
obligation is satisfied, to notify the restitution unit within 30 days if the
defendant’s offender’s address or employment changes, including
providing the name, address, and telephone number of each new employer.
A defendant’s social security An offender’s Social Security
number shall only be used by the restitution unit for the purpose of
facilitating the collection of restitution, and shall not otherwise be
If not paid at the time of sentencing, restitution may be ordered as a
condition of probation, supervised community sentence, furlough, preapproved
furlough, or parole if the convicted person is sentenced to preapproved
furlough, probation, or supervised community sentence, or is sentenced to
imprisonment and later placed on parole. A person shall not be placed on
probation solely for purposes of paying restitution.
A defendant An
offender may not be charged with a violation of probation, furlough, or
parole for nonpayment of restitution.
The department of corrections shall work collaboratively with the restitution
unit to assist with the collection of restitution. The department shall
provide the restitution unit with information about the location and employment
status of the
When restitution is requested
and but not ordered, the court
shall set forth on the record its reasons for not ordering restitution.
(g) Restitution ordered under this section shall not preclude a person from pursuing an independent civil action for all claims not covered by the restitution order.
The court shall transmit a copy of a restitution order to the restitution unit,
which shall make payment to the victim
from the restitution fund established
under in accordance with section 5363 of this title. If the victim has
died, payment shall be made to the victim’s estate.
A payment out of the restitution fund shall not exceed $10.000.00, except as
provided in subdivision (j)(2) of this section. (3) To the extent that the victims compensation board
has made payment to or on behalf of the victim in accordance with chapter 167
of this title, restitution, if imposed, shall be paid to the restitution unit,
which shall make payment to the victims compensation fund.
The restitution unit may bring an action to enforce a restitution order against
a defendant an offender in the superior or small claims court of
the county where the offender resides or in the county where the order
was issued. In an action under this subsection, a restitution order issued by
the district court shall be enforceable in superior or small claims court in
the same manner as a civil judgment. Superior and small claims court filing
fees shall be waived for an action under this subsection.
All restitution payments by a defendant shall be made to the restitution
unit, with the exception of restitution relating to a conviction for welfare
fraud ordered under this section and recouped by the economic services
division. The economic services division shall provide the restitution unit
with a monthly report of all restitution collected through recoupment. This
subsection shall have no effect upon the collection or recoupment of
restitution ordered under Title 33. (2)
If the restitution unit collects in excess of $10,000.00 from the defendant,
the amount in excess of $10,000.00 shall be paid to the victim until the victim
has received the full amount of the restitution order. Any excess remaining
after the victim has received the full amount of the restitution order shall be
divided between the victims compensation fund and the restitution unit in
proportion to the amount which each paid to the victim.
The sentencing court may modify the payment schedule of a restitution order if,
upon motion by the restitution unit or the
the court finds that modification is warranted by a substantial change in
defendant offender fails to pay restitution as ordered by
the court, the restitution unit may file an action to enforce the restitution
order in superior or small claims court. The court shall set the matter for
hearing and shall provide notice to the restitution unit, the victim, and the defendant
offender. If the court determines the defendant offender
has failed to comply with the restitution order, the court may take any action
the court deems necessary to ensure the defendant offender will
make the required restitution payment, including:
(1) amending the payment schedule of the restitution order;
ordering, in compliance with the procedures required in Rule 4.1 of the Vermont
Rules of Civil Procedure, the disclosure, attachment, and sale of assets and
accounts owned by the
defendant’s offender’s wages withheld pursuant to
subsection (n) of this section; or
ordering the suspension of any recreational licenses owned by the
Any monies owed by the state to an offender who is under a restitution order,
including lottery winnings and tax refunds, shall be used to discharge the
restitution order to the full extent of the unpaid total financial losses,
regardless of the payment schedule
in the restitution payment plan established
by the courts.
(2) When an offender is entitled to a tax refund, any restitution owed by the offender shall be withheld from the refund pursuant to subchapter 12 of chapter 151 of Title 32.
For all Vermont lottery games, the lottery commission shall, before
issuing prize money of $500.00 or more to a winner, determine whether the
winner has an outstanding restitution order. If the winner owes restitution,
the lottery commission shall withhold the entire amount of
owed and pay it to the restitution unit. The restitution unit shall
offset the winnings by the amount of restitution owed and the The
remainder of the winnings, if any, shall be sent to the winner. The winner
shall be notified by the restitution unit of the offset prior to payment to the
victim and given a period not to exceed 20 days to contest the accuracy of the
(B) The restitution unit shall inform the lottery commission of persons with outstanding restitution orders upon request. Each person subject to such an order shall be identified by name, address, and Social Security number.
(C) If a lottery winner has an outstanding restitution order and an outstanding child support order, the lottery winnings shall be offset first pursuant to section 792 of Title 15 by the amount of child support owed, and second pursuant to this subsection by the amount of restitution owed. The remainder of the winnings, if any, shall be sent to the winner.
Monies Unless otherwise provided, monies paid under this
subsection shall be paid directly to the restitution unit , which shall
notify the victim that the monies have been received.
The sentencing court at the time of sentencing, or the superior or small claims
court in a subsequent proceeding, may issue a wage withholding order directing
current and subsequent employers of the
defendant offender to pay
a portion of the defendant’s offender’s wages directly to the
restitution unit until the defendant’s offender’s restitution
obligation is satisfied. The wages of the defendant offender
shall be exempt as follows:
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(2) The court shall transmit all wage
withholding orders issued under this section to the restitution unit, which
shall forward the orders to the
employers. Upon receipt of a wage withholding order from the restitution unit,
an employer shall:
(A) withhold from the wages paid to the
offender the amount specified in the order for each wage period;
(B) forward the withheld wages to the restitution unit within seven working days after wages are withheld, specifying the date the wages were withheld;
(C) retain a record of all withheld wages;
(D) cease withholding wages upon notice from the restitution unit; and
(E) notify the restitution unit within
10 days of the date the
defendant’s offender’s employment is
In addition to the amounts withheld pursuant to this section, the employer may
retain not more than $5.00 per month from the
wages as compensation for administrative costs incurred.
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A restitution obligation shall be
nondischargeable, An obligation to pay restitution is part of a criminal
sentence and is nondischargeable in the United States Bankruptcy Court to
the maximum extent provided under 11 U.S.C. § 523, in the United States
Bankruptcy Court §§ 523 and 1328.
(p) A transfer of property made with the intent to avoid a restitution obligation shall be deemed a fraudulent conveyance for purposes of chapter 57 of Title 9, and the restitution unit shall be entitled to the remedies of creditors provided under section 2291 of Title 9.
Approved: June 7, 2005
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street