Restitution & Reparations
Restitution is the money that a judge orders a juvenile or adult offender to pay to the victim for out-of-pocket expenses that occurred as a direct result of the crime. Restitution is the financial responsibility of the offender. It is part of the offender's sentence and is based on the victim's expenses and the offender's ability to pay. Expenses do not include compensation for pain and suffering. Expenses might include: medical or therapy costs; lost wages due to the crime; and replacement of stolen or damaged property.
You must complete an Affidavit for Restitution form. The form should include the offender's name and any court file numbers. Copies of bills, receipts, insurance claim forms and estimates should be attached to the affidavit. The form should be filed with the court as soon as possible. If you need help or assistance completing the affidavit form, please contact Bonnie Petersen, Victim/Witness Coordinator.
The rate the offender must pay restitution is determined by the court. You may speak to the probation officer by calling and asking to speak with the person who is supervising the offender. You also have the right to request that a review hearing be scheduled if you are not satisfied with the rate of payment. This will not guarantee payment or any change. It will simply be a request for the court to review the offender's efforts at complying with the court's order. The Office of Justice Programs at the Minnesota Department of Public Safety also offers information on collecting court-ordered restitution. It is important to remember that an order for restitution does not guarantee that restitution will be collected from an offender.
Crime Victim Reparations are another option for repayment of a victim's out-of-pocket expenses due to the crime. Reparations are financial assistance from the government, and reparations are available to any victim of a violent crime regardless of whether the case is charged or if the offender is found guilty. The Reparations Board does not cover personal property loss. It is only available for victims of crimes reported to law enforcement. Reparation benefits include:
- Medical expenses
- Counseling services for victims and their family members
- Crime scene clean-up
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of support to dependents (spouse/domestic partner and minor children) of a homicide victim
- Lost wages due to a disabling physical or psychological injury
- Transportation costs, meals, and lodging to return an abducted child
- Home health care provided by licensed professional
Eligibility for Reparations
Some eligibility requirements include:
- The crime must have occurred in Minnesota, or in a foreign country without a compensation program.
- The crime must have been reported to the police within 30 days (no time limit for sexual assault and child abuse victims, but the crime must be reported).
- The victim must cooperate fully with police in their investigation and with the city or county attorney in the prosecution of the offender.
- The application form must be submitted within 3 years of the crime (child abuse claims must be filed within 3 years of the date the crime was reported to police).
- The victim must not be found by the Crime Victims Reparations Board to have contributed to the incident through misconduct or negligence. (The award may be reduced in these circumstances.)
- All available collateral sources must be used first (health insurance, medical assistance, auto insurance, short and long term disability, social security benefits, etc.).
Application forms are available from the Nicollet County Crime Victim Coordinator, the Minnesota Crime Victim Reparations Board office at 651-201-7300, or by downloading it from the Office of Justice website. Completed application forms can be mailed, emailed, or faxed to the Reparations Office and should be submitted as soon as possible. The form can also be completed and submitted online at the Office of Justice Programs Victim Services Portal. Medical treatment or court proceedings do not need to be completed prior to filing a reparations claim.