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Vol. 5, Iss. 7
June 22, 2016

Interesting Issue: Supreme Court Addresses Impact Of Victim’s Insurance Recovery On A Criminal Restitution Obligation

The Montana Supreme Court held in State of Montana v. Dovey, No. DA15—0496 (Mont. May 17, 2016) that an individual, who pled guilty to felony theft against his former employer, and was ordered to pay $26,500 in restitution, was not entitled to have his restitution obligation reduced by the amount that his employer recovered from its insurer ($26,200). In other words, the convicted employee sought to pay $300 in restitution, being the amount of his employer’s actual loss. He argued that Montana’s restitution statutes “only allow a victim to recover what he or she otherwise would be able to recover in a civil action” and that his employer “should not recover from both [him] and its insurer, because such recovery would result in a windfall of redundant payments.” The court “opt[ed] to stay on this side of the looking-glass” and declined to adopt the employee’s argument, which was, essentially, that he was “more deserving of the windfall from his victim’s insurance policy than … his victim.”


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