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LegalQ

@charter.com
reply to LegalQ

Re: Court ordered judgment

According to the prominent bankruptcy attorney in the twin cities, a bankruptcy court will not dissolve debt that arose from a crime. Juvenile/Adult, closed/open case, sealed/non-sealed record, converted/non-converted, restitution/civil. makes no difference.

Kinda what I thought.

amigo_boy

join:2005-07-22
said by LegalQ :

According to the prominent bankruptcy attorney in the twin cities, a bankruptcy court will not dissolve debt that arose from a crime. Juvenile/Adult, closed/open case, sealed/non-sealed record, converted/non-converted, restitution/civil. makes no difference.
The next question is to find out if you can appeal the restitution order based on information that wasn't available at the time the court set the amount (she received an insurance settlement). The fact that at least one Minnesota court solicits insurance-settlement information makes it sound like a post-sentence settlement would be significant.

And, if the restitution was reduced, how that may affect the civil judgment she has. If her judgment is something that converted automatically when your sentenced ended (like what I showed you from Arizona), maybe reducing/vacating the original restitution order would automatically reduce/vacate the civil judgment. (I.e., in Arizona the criminal court orders a civil judgment at the end of the sentence. If a criminal court reduced or vacated an earlier order of restitution, they would obviously have the power to order a modification to the civil judgment.).

If the judgment is something she obtained herself (not an automatic conversion of a restitution order to a civil judgment when your sentence ended), then you'd want to find out if that can be appealed based upon the fact that she received an insurance settlement.

I'm less positive about the latter. But, you never know. The right attorney may have some strings that can be pulled.

OTOH, you said it expires in a year or two. You may want to wait and see if she renews it. (Although, I'd be concerned that if she doesn't renew it, and 5 years later you have some money, she might get another judgment.).

Mark

amigo_boy

join:2005-07-22
reply to LegalQ
BTW: I found this for Minnesota, describing how restitution is automatically converted to a civil judgment

It sounds similar to Arizona. And, says it expires after 10 years, but can be renewed (which is different than Arizona).

So, that makes it less confusing. You're just looking to have the criminal court re-evaluate the order of restitution, for what appears to be good reason (the restitution would have been lower if she had received the insurance settlement prior to requesting restitution).

You also want to find out how it works if she forgets to renew it. In California, the plaintiff can renew up to 5 years before the judgment expires. But, if they wait until one day after the expiration they can no longer renew. But, they can go to court again and obtain a new judgment.

If MN is similar, you'd be fearful the rest of your life that she might file a new lawsuit.

Another thing to find out is if that happened (it expires, later you have some money, and she files a civil suit), would her insurance settlement (and the fact that the insurance company never came after you) offset her damages? That might help you decide whether to wait and see what happens, and the risk you would have in the future.

Mark


psafux
Premium,VIP
join:2005-11-10
kudos:2
said by amigo_boy:

It sounds similar to Arizona. And, says it expires after 10 years

I believe OP mentioned this several times btw.

amigo_boy

join:2005-07-22
said by psafux:

said by amigo_boy:

It sounds similar to Arizona. And, says it expires after 10 years

I believe OP mentioned this several times btw.
Yes. The confusion was whether it was a judgment entered by the criminal court, or one the victim obtained herself.

The OP didn't seem to know which one he had. He seemed to believe it was significant that restitution ended on his 19th birthday. That it may have been a separate judgement not related to the restitution order.

The fact that it expired in 10 years added to that question because other states (ex., AZ) judgments entered by the criminal court for restitution (at the end of court supervision) are non-expiring, making them different than ordinary civil judgments.

So, I was just pointing out that his 10-year expiration fit with how Minnesota does these restitution-converted-to-civil-judgment deals.

Mark

amigo_boy

join:2005-07-22
reply to psafux
One other thing that I'd check into with a criminal attorney is the matter of juvenile liability. I can understand the BK attorney's position that, any judgment based upon criminal damage isn't dischargable. But, he's not really giving you an opinion about juvenile justice and whether that restitution should have continued to hang over your head into adulthood.

Usually parents are liable for damages caused by their minor children. In some states there are limits on the amount.

So, I think it would be useful to completely understand how that works in Minnesota. It seems strange that parents would be financially responsible for minor children. But, you are carrying financial responsibility flowing from a restitution order which occurred when you were a juvenile.

That would be something I'd want to understand if it were me. Just to make sure the law was applied correctly.

And then I'd check into whether the restitution order can be reviewed by the criminal court based upon information which wasn't available at the time the amount was set.

And, if such a review would lead to the court-ordered civil judgment to be re-ordered at the new (hopefully lower) amount.

And, if she doesn't renew the existing judgment, can she get a new judgment after this one expires. (I.e., would the insurance settlement prevent her from getting a new one if she tried, and you went to civil court with that information.).

If the latter's in your favor, it may be worth waiting a year or two and see if she renews.

Mark


LegalQ

@charter.com
The conversion of the restitution order to a judgment was done by the judge/court system/whatever procedure they have in place. The victim (now plaintiff) did not have to take any action for that to occur. The only thing she is required to do is take the steps to get her money from me. The court no longer oversees it.

If I moved, for example, and she could not locate my address, the court system will NOT help her. There would be no warrant or legal issue with me not being able to be located. Its between her and me.

Following is the verbatim reply from the attorney this afternoon.

Good afternoon:

Thank you for contacting me. Your situation is a very complex one because of the restitution order.

In general, debts that cannot be eliminated in a chapter 7 bankruptcy include a home mortgage, debts for alimony or child support, certain taxes, debts for most government funded or guaranteed educational loans or benefit overpayments, debts arising from death or personal injury caused by driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, and debts for restitution or a criminal fine included in a sentence on the debtor's conviction of a crime.

Who are you currently making the payment to? Are you on unemployment, if so, are the payments for restitution being garnished from your unemployment compensation? If no garnishments are in effect, what happens if you don't continue making the payments ... can they bring criminal charges based on probation violations ... are you still on probation? I spoke with a criminal defense attorney about this and he seems to think that if you're not currently on probation then you shouldn't face any criminal law issues if you don't make the payments. When was the civil judgment granted? Civil judgments do have to be renewed every ten years to be effective. You might just be able to wait them out.

Sorry I can't offer anything better than this. This seems like a really harsh penalty for something that happened when you were 16, especially since the other person received insurance to cover everything .... it's like a double dip for them. If you know of anyone who is facing a foreclosure or just has too much debt (credit cards, medical bills, etc.) please pass my name and number along to them. I wish I could be of more help in your situation, but the bankruptcy laws just don't allow it at this time.

best regards,

(Name removed)

****

amigo_boy

join:2005-07-22

3 edits
said by LegalQ :

"Your situation is a very complex one because of the restitution order."
I agree with that. But, as a BK lawyer, he couldn't address those complexities. All he could advise is, as it stands now, you can't escape a restitution judgment through BK.

I recommend you still pursue the questions/topics described here, the last paragraph here and here.

- Whether you can have you can have the civil judgment modified, either through the criminal court modifying the restitution part of your sentence, or through the civil court.

- Whether she'll be able to get a new judgment in the future (if she doesn't renew this one), and how the insurance settlement would affect that (assuming you would respond to the lawsuit and present that information).

- How juvenile justice works in Minnesota. Financial liability goes to parents or child? Limits (time, money)?

Something else to consider is application for clemency from the Minnesota governor. Usually, pardons and expungements can't be granted until the sentence is completed and restitution/fines paid. But, it depends on the clemency powers granted to the governor.

For example, the presidential power to pardon includes the remission of restitution. But, you can't apply for this because the President can only pardon federal crimes (assuming you were convicted of a State crime).

It would be worth looking into. Like the BK attorney said, your situation sounds exceptionally harsh. You don't have any realistic way to put it behind you. And, you have a victim who's trying to collect an amount that wouldn't have been granted to her if she received the insurance settlement before the restitution hearing.

I think it would be a good candidate for executive clemency. But, it depends on whether the state constitution/legislature has limited that power to prevent remission of restitution (by requiring consideration of only those applicants who have completed their restitution).

Even if that is a requirement, I'd apply anyway just to get the topic in front of them. The unusual nature of your dilemma. The Catch-22. You might get someone's attention. Maybe someone would champion your cause.

But, you may want to weigh that against laying low for a year or two and seeing if she renews the civil judgment. You wouldn't want to end up in the news and cause her to be reminded of the 10-year limit.

Mark