After the court determines the amount of restitution, a payment will be set up if the
defendant cannot pay the lump sum. Restitution is non dischargeable through bankruptcy.
(A.R.S. §13-603) Arizona law states victims' have the right to request restitution and
receive prompt payment. (A.R.S. §13-804) Restitution for Offense Causing Economic
Loss). In most cases, the victim or company will speak to the pre sentence investigator
for his or her request for restitution. If there is an objection to the amount requested or if
the court/probation department were unable to determine an amount, the court may keep
restitution open or set a date for a restitution hearing. Restitution is not automatically
ordered when a defendant signs a plea agreement with the County Attorney. FOR
RESTITUTION TO BE VALID, IT MUST BE ORDERED BY A JUDGE AND
CONTAINED ON A COURT MINUTE ENTRY.
Case law (particularly FDIC v. Colosi 194 Ariz. 114, 977 P.2d 836), gives the probation department jurisdiction to request a restitution hearing for the period of the probation term.
If the defendant is sentenced to the Department of Corrections, the County Attorney has jurisdiction to request a restitution hearing. If restitution is not ordered and there is no other court stipulation to keep restitution open, the County Attorney can lose jurisdiction. Under Rule 24.3, Modification of Sentence, the County Attorney has 60 days to file an illegal lenient sentence to include restitution. If the County Attorney fails to do this, the victim may not ask for restitution at a later date. If the defendant is released from probation or parole, jurisdiction no longer exists for the court to order restitution. The only remedy for the victim in both these scenarios is to file a civil claim against the defendant. For more information about jurisdiction, you may contact APD Victim Services Unit.
If a victim wants restitution and it has not been ordered through the court, it is very important a victim makes the request in a timely manner.