Can a Judge dismiss restitution if the original victim has passed away?

William R. Pelger's Criminal Law Legal Blogs

Licensed for 30 years

Attorney in Munhall, PA

William R. Pelger

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Serving Munhall, PA

  • Serving Munhall, PA

  • Free initial consultation, Credit cards accepted, Fixed hourly rates

Attorney at firm Pelger Law

Serving Munhall, PA

Free initial consultation, Credit cards accepted, Fixed hourly rates

Q: Long story!! However, the basic is I accepted a plea bargain for four years of probation in Butler County. Restitution ($19,000) was 10 years-ago. After a few years of probation, I looked at my case file to see exactly what I was paying. I found many things added that weren’t even mine (washer and dryer, electric bill, water bill, a credit card bill from before the time I lived at the house) In fact after reviewing the case file there were many issues. I had a very new public defender at my hearing. I’ve made payments on it through the years, but not a ton. The restitution was to my ex-husbands mother. Unfortunately, most of the time he didn’t pay child support for our 4 kids so in turn it was hard for me to always pay restitution. She has passed away this past year. Is there any way to get the remainder of the restitution dismissed? There is much more to this case then what I’ve listed. (Cranberry, Twp., PA)

A: Over the years I have handled only several cases where I petitioned the court to vacate an order for restitution. In those cases, I had good reasons and the consent of the DA who obtained the consent of the victim. I have not had a situation like yours. My thought would be that yes, restitution should stop when the victim to whom restitution is owed dies. However, restitution can continue to the victim if an estate is opened. If an estate is opened, the estate can keep the estate open until the debt is pursued. You may need the consent of the executor of the estate. I would review this with a criminal attorney in Butler County to see if it will fly given your DA and the judge assigned to the case.

 

CRIMINAL CASE, RESTITUTION, PETITION TO VACATE RESTITUTION

 

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