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State v. Quiding

September 16, 1996

STATE OF WASHINGTON, RESPONDENT,
v.
JASON QUIDING, D.O.B. JUNE 5, 1977 APPELLANT.



Appeal from Superior Court of Whatcom County. Docket No: 94-8-00498-9. Date filed: February 28, 1995. Judge signing: Hon. Frank Morrow.

PER CURIAM. In June of 1994, Jason Quiding, a juvenile, was arrested after he was seen pushing a stolen motorcycle down a sidewalk and into an alley in Whatcom County. He was later charged with and found guilty of first degree possession of stolen property. Quiding filed separate appeals from both the order of adjudication, which found him guilty of the offense charged, and the order requiring him to pay restitution for certain damage to the motorcycle. In this consolidated appeal of the two cases Quiding challenges only the juvenile court's authority to impose restitution.

Because the State failed to establish a sufficient causal relationship between the offense charged and proved and the damage to the stolen motorcycle, we reverse the order of restitution.

FACTS

In the late afternoon of June 6, 1994, Quiding was observed pushing a motorcycle down the sidewalk in the city of Ferndale. Witnesses watched as Quiding pushed the motorcycle into an alley and covered it with cardboard boxes. One of the witnesses contacted police and reported Quiding's suspicious behavior. Upon arriving on the scene, a police officer investigated the incident and, based on his investigation, arrested Quiding. Quiding was thereafter charged with possession of stolen property in the first degree.

At the fact finding hearing, a witness testified that he observed Quiding push an "off-road" motorcycle into an alley and attempt to cover it with cardboard. The witness testified he asked Quiding about the motorcycle and that Quiding replied it was not stolen. A second witness testified he was working in Ferndale at around 3:00 p.m. on June 6 when he saw Quiding covering a motorcycle with cardboard boxes. According to the witness, Quiding was looking over his shoulder to see if anybody was watching him. The witnesses testified he reported the suspicious behavior to police.

Whatcom County Deputy Sheriff Smith stated he questioned Quiding at approximately 4:30 p.m. on June 6. The deputy testified that he read Quiding his constitutional rights and that Quiding waived those rights.

According to the deputy, Quiding first told police that he didn't know anything about a motorcycle, but that he later changed his story and said he found the motorcycle lying on its side near a bridge and pushed it into Ferndale after some people said he could. Deputy Smith testified that Quiding claimed to have discovered the motorcycle at 3:15 p.m.

The owner of the motorcycle testified the motorcycle was stolen sometime between midnight and 6 a.m. on June 6, 1994. The owner stated that the motorcycle was found 5 to 6 miles from where it was stolen and that it had been damaged during the time it was missing. The owner described the damage as a broken light bulb inside the motorcycle's headlight, a crack in the headlight frame, scratches on the front fender, and oil leaking out of the engine. He stated that someone had obviously ridden the motorcycle. The owner also testified that someone had apparently used a razor blade to remove three stickers from the front fender of the vehicle.

Quiding testified at the hearing in his own defense. He denied ever having the motorcycle in his possession on June 6. He stated he had not told the truth when questioned by police at the time of his arrest.

Quiding testified that a person named "Jason Bowen" was the only one who possessed the motorcycle on the day in question. A second defense witness also testified that he and Quiding had been visited by Jason Bowen on June 6 and that Mr. Bowen was riding the motorcycle at the time. The witness testified that Mr. Bowen told him the motorcycle belonged to his uncle.

The juvenile court found Quiding guilty as charged. The court also ordered Quiding to pay $192.04 to the owner of the motorcycle, an amount that would compensate the owner for all the damage to the motorcycle. Quiding filed separate appeals from both the adjudication order and the order setting restitution. The two appeals have since been consolidated for purposes of review on appeal. In the consolidated appeal, Quiding alleges only that that the juvenile court lacked authority to impose restitution.

DECISION

The sole issue presented is whether the juvenile court exceeded its authority in ordering Quiding to pay restitution to the owner of the stolen motorcycle. Appellate review of a restitution order entered in juvenile court is limited to determining whether the restitution imposed was authorized by statute. *fn1 Under RCW 13.40.190(1), a juvenile offender may be required to pay restitution "to any persons who have suffered loss or damage as a result of the offense committed by the respondent." To satisfy the statute, there must be a direct link between the offense charged and proved and the victim's damages. *fn2 In determining whether that causal relationship exists, courts look to the facts underlying the charged offense. *fn3

Quiding contends the damage to the motorcycle was not sufficiently related to his possession offense. He argues the court improperly ordered restitution for damages that were neither part of, nor causally related to the specific offense charged. Thus, Quiding argues ...


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