Council on Aging Answers 2016 - 75

COUNCIL ON AGING - ORANGE COUNTY

n The ability to apply for restitution from any
funds established for the purpose of compensating
victims in civil cases

Restitution In California: Locate a Victim Advocate in Your County.
California Victim/Witness Assistance Centers can
connect you to a victim advocate. Victim/Witness
Assistance Centers work directly with the California
Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP). The vic-

How Do You Collect Restitution?
Depending on the court system the perpetrator
has been sentenced in, your victim advocate can help
you contact one of the following agencies.
County system: Contact local county agencies, such as the probation department, collections
department, or the courts depending on the type
of case and how your county operates. In Orange
County contact Community Service Programs Inc.
(949) 250-0488 or the Victim Service Center at 949250-4058.
State Prison: Contact California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitations (CDCR). Also register with the CDCR Office of Victim and Survivor
Rights and Services (OVSRS). OVSRS will also give
you information on parole hearings and release dates
for the perpetrator.
All complaints of financial elder abuse need to be
heard. It is possible that making complaints to the
proper authority may ultimately lead to restitution.
Complaints are also important because they can protect others from future harm by dishonest people. If
someone is making a living by stealing from individuals, they need to be stopped. Remember, restitution
can be a lifelong debt that cannot be discharged by
bankruptcy and that may take years before you are
fully compensated. Restitution orders never expire.
An excerpt from CANHR's Elder Financial Abuse
Restitution Guide - How to Get Your Money Back, reprinted with permission from California Advocates for
Nursing Home Reform (CANHR). Download a free
copy of the Elder Financial Abuse Restitution Guide at
www.canhr.org. To Register a Complaint visit: www.
ftccomplaintassistant.gov

Council On Aging-Orange County | 714-479-0107 | www.coaoc.org	 Answers Guide 2016

75

FINANCE & LEGAL

How Is The Amount Of Restitution Determined?
When a perpetrator has been found guilty in a
criminal court, the judge will need to know the
amount of your losses in order to determine restitution. If you do not know the amount of your losses at
the time of the trial, the restitution may be ordered
with an amount "To Be Determined" or TBD. Once
you know the specific amount, you will have to contact the district attorney's office or county probation
office to schedule a court hearing. This is called a
"restitution hearing" or a "restitution modification
hearing." The judge will then modify the orders to
include that amount. It is important to determine
the amount lost as soon as possible. Restitution cannot be collected until a specific amount is set. Keep
copies of bills, receipts, expenses and any insurance
information related to your crime. Your information
will be assumed to be correct and it will be up to the
defendant to disprove any claims that you make.
In a civil claim, a person who has suffered financial abuse may also seek recoverable damages
and reasonable attorney fees and costs. Allowing
the recovery of attorney fees ensures that attorneys
can realistically take up the cause of financially exploited elders. Victims of financial abuse may also
be entitled to damages under consumer statutes and
common law remedies, including breach of contract,
breach of fiduciary duty, fraud or undue influence.
California also provides enhanced damages in
cases involving "senior citizens" or disabled persons
victimized by deceptive acts or practices or unfair
methods of competition. Consequently, a judge may
award up to three times the amount otherwise imposed, also known as "treble damages," if it is found
that "the defendant knew or should have known that
his or her conduct was directed to one or more senior citizens or disabled persons."

tim advocates can help you apply for compensation,
get you emergency food, clothing, and shelter, help
you file a temporary restraining other resources.
Depending on where the perpetrator is sentenced,
county jail or state prison, the Victim/Witness Assistance Centers can help direct you to the appropriate
agency in order to collect restitution. Each county
has its own Victim/Witness Assistance Center. All
services provided by victim advocates are free of
charge. The California Victim/Witness Assistance
Center in Orange County can be contacted at 949975-0244.


http://www.canhr.org http://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov http://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov http://www.coaoc.org

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