STATE V. S.P.

County: Dakota (7/2011)
The State sought restitution for an alleged victim of a strangulation and assault case. Ryan Pacyga represented S.P., and negotiated dismissal of the charges relating to the alleged victim. Still, the State brought a motion to recover approximately $1,000 that the alleged victim claimed she was owed due to damages incurred during the alleged assault. Ryan Pacyga opposed the State's request for Restitution. After a hearing, the judge ruled in Ryan Pacyga's favor, denying the State's motion for restitution. The judge based hid decision on Ryan Pacyga's argument that, because the State dismissed the charges involving the alleged victim, she was not a "victim" under the restitution statute, that Mr. Pacyga's client was not "convicted" of the alleged crime, and that a restitution hearing is the improper venue for her to seek any restitution or damage award.