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State v. R.P.

February 10, 1997

STATE OF WASHINGTON, RESPONDENT,
v.
R.P., B.D.: 2-16-79, APPELLANT.



Appeal from Superior Court of Island County. Docket No: 94-8-00225-9. Date filed: 05/05/95. Judge signing: Hon. Alan R. Hancock.

PER CURIAM. R.P. appeals from an order of restitution in juvenile court, entered after he pleaded guilty to taking a motor vehicle without permission. He contends that the restitution order was void because it was entered more than 60 days after the Disposition order. He also contends that the evidence was insufficient to establish a causal connection between the offense and the victims' damages and to support the amount of restitution ordered. We conclude that restitution was properly awarded to R.P.'s grandfather and American States Insurance Company. But the record supports the State's concession that the evidence was insufficient to establish a causal connection between the offense and Puget Power's damaged power pole. Accordingly, we reverse and remand for entry of a revised restitution order.

R.P. was charged in juvenile court on October 7, 1994, with one count of taking a motor vehicle without permission. On October 20, 1994, R.P. waived his right to counsel and pleaded guilty to the charge. In his statement on plea of guilty, R.P. admitted stealing his grandfather's car. The Disposition order, filed the same day, provided that restitution was to be paid to Ronald Redford, R.P.'s grandfather, and that a hearing was to be scheduled within 60 days. The Disposition order also stated that restitution "shall be subject to future hearings pursuant to RCW 9.94A.142."

Following a series of hearings, the juvenile court eventually entered a restitution order awarding $2,664.25 to Puget Power for a damaged power pole, $100 to Ronald Redford, and $3,073.12 to American States Insurance Company. Relying on the statements in the Disposition order and State v. Krall, 125 Wash. 2d 146, 881 P.2d 1040 (1994), defense counsel argued that the restitution order was untimely. The juvenile court ruled that R.P. had waived any right to a restitution hearing within 60 days at a December 15, 1994, hearing. The court further ruled that, in any event, the 60-day limit in former RCW 9.94A.142(1) does not apply in the juvenile setting.

R.P. first contends that the juvenile court erred in imposing restitution more than 60 days after entry of the Disposition order. He argues that as a matter of statutory construction, as well as under the specific facts of this case, the 60-day time limit of former RCW 9.94A.142(1) applies to juvenile cases. Because it was entered more than 60 days after the Disposition order, R.P. asserts that the restitution order in this case is therefore void. *fn1 RCW 13.40.190, the juvenile restitution statute, provides that in its Dispositional order, the court "shall require the respondent to make restitution to any persons who have suffered loss or damage as a result of the offense committed by the respondent." R.P. concedes that RCW 13.40.190 does not contain a 60-day provision similar to former RCW 9.94A.142(1), but reasons that since superior court rules apply in juvenile offense proceedings when not inconsistent, the 60-day adult "rule" must apply because it would not be inconsistent with the JJA.

None of the authority cited by R.P. supports the proposition that specific provisions of an adult sentencing statute apply in the juvenile context merely because the comparable juvenile statute contains no "inconsistent" provision. R.P. has not identified any basis for concluding that the Legislature intended the 60-day limitation to apply in the juvenile context. See In re Swanson, 115 Wash. 2d 21, 27, 804 P.2d 1 (1990) ("Where the Legislature uses certain statutory language in one instance, and different language in another, there is a difference in legislative intent.").

R.P. also argues the 60-day limit applies because the Disposition order provided that a restitution hearing was to be scheduled within 60 days and that restitution was "subject to future hearings pursuant to RCW 9.94A.142." R.P. has not cited any authority suggesting that the use of such language, without more, created a vested interest or right that would permit invalidation of an untimely restitution order. Nor has R.P. claimed any detrimental reliance or prejudice resulting from the allegedly untimely restitution order. Although the juvenile court advised R.P. at the December 15, 1994, hearing that he had a right to have restitution determined within 60 days and then asked R.P. whether he wished to "waive" that right, it is apparent from the record that the court was attempting to proceed as cautiously as possible until the issue of the applicability of RCW 9.94A.142(1) was resolved. *fn2 R.P. next argues that the trial court erred in ordering restitution because there was no showing that any damages suffered by Ronald Redford, American States Insurance Company, and Puget Power were causally related to the offense. Appellate review of a restitution order entered in juvenile court is limited to determining whether the restitution imposed was authorized by RCW 13.40.190(1). State v. Landrum, 66 Wash. App. 791, 795, 832 P.2d 1359 (1992). In order to satisfy the statute, a restitution order must be based on the existence of a causal relationship between the offense charged and proven and the victim's damages. State v. Blair, 56 Wash. App. 209, 214-15, 783 P.2d 102 (1989). In determining whether the requisite causal connection exists, courts look to the facts underlying the charged offense. State v. Landrum, 66 Wash. App. at 799.

The State concedes there was no showing that the damage to Puget Power's power pole was causally related to R.P.'s offense, and we accept the concession. The information in this case merely alleged that R.P. had taken or driven away a car belonging to Ronald Redford. In his statement on plea of guilty, R.P. admitted only that he had stolen his grandfather's car. The record contains no evidence indicating how the alleged collision with the power pole occurred or establishing that R.P. was driving the car when the damage to the power pole occurred. Under these circumstances, the evidence was insufficient to support a determination that but for R.P.'s taking of the car, the damage to the power pole would not have occurred or that damage to the power pole was reasonably foreseeable as a consequence of the offense. See State v. Hunotte, 69 Wash. App. 670, 676, 851 P.2d 694 (1993). Accordingly, the juvenile court erred in ordering restitution to Puget Power.

R.P. further argues that because there was no evidence that he caused any damage to the vehicle or, indeed, that he drove the vehicle, the State also failed to establish a causal relationship between the offense and the damages suffered by his grandfather and American States Insurance Company. He also asserts that American States' claim should be barred as violative of his due process right to notice because American States was not listed as a victim on the Disposition order and because American States' claim letter was unsworn.

At the February 17, 1995, hearing, defense counsel conceded that the court could order restitution "to the insurance company via his grandfather being the victim and that being the insurance which did pay." See State v. Sanchez, 73 Wash. App. 486, 869 P.2d 1133 (1994) (insurance carrier that pays claim arising from offense is entitled to restitution under RCW 13.40.190(1)). Counsel raised no objection to the court's consideration of American States' claim letter and documentation and argued only that R.P. was responsible for $2,900, the value of the vehicle listed on American States' documentation, rather than the $3,030 requested by the State. Under these circumstances, R.P. has waived any challenge to the court's authority to award restitution to Redford and American States and its consideration of the documentation. See State v. Branch, 129 Wash. 2d 635, 651, 919 P.2d 1228 (1986).

R.P.'s final contention is that the evidence fails to support the amount of restitution awarded to Redford and American States. The juvenile court ordered restitution of $100 to Redford to cover his insurance deductible and $3073.12 to American States.

Contrary to R.P.'s contention, the Total Loss and Salvage Recap attached to American States' claim letter establishes the value of Redford's vehicle as $3,130. This figure is based on the "agreed value" of $2,900 plus an adjustment upwards of $230 for sales tax and license, for a total value of $3,130. Based on this amount, American States subtracted $100 for the deductible, for a total payment to Redford of $3,030. Redford was therefore entitled to a restitution award of $100 in order to be fully compensated for the value of his vehicle.

The Total Loss and Salvage Recap further indicates, however, that American States received a net salvage recovery from the vehicle of $56.88. American States' total payment on the loss was therefore $3,030, the amount paid to Redford, less the net salvage recovery of $56.88, or $2,973.12, $100 less than the amount specified in its letter. The proper restitution amount for American States was therefore $2,973.12, not $3,073.12. Upon remand, the court should adjust the restitution order accordingly.

The restitution order is reversed and the matter remanded for ...


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