Friday, September 23, 2016

Restitution Specialist assists victims of crime in collecting restitution using a CR-110/CR-111

Victim Restitution Specialist Sandra Perez recently assisted two victims in acquiring restitution they were owed after she had encouraged them to file an Order for Restitution and Abstract of Judgment (Judicial Council forms CR-110/JV-790 and CR-111/JV-790, commonly called a CR-110/CR-111).

According to Sandy, all crime victims can and should file a CR-110/CR-111 with the Superior or Juvenile Court once restitution has been awarded. The CR-110/CR-111 does not “convert” the criminal restitution order into a civil judgment. Filing it, however, enables the victim to collect on a criminal restitution order “as if it were a civil judgment,” thereby opening the door to civil collections remedies (i.e., liens, wage garnishment, etc.). 

Recording the CR-110/CR-111 with a County Recorder wherever the defendant resides or may own property establishes an automatic lien against that defendant’s current or future real estate there, and gives the victim’s judgment priority, such that the victim must be paid the amount of the restitution owed before the defendant can sell, refinance, or transfer his or her property in that county. Liens can also be placed on a defendant’s business assets via a statewide lien on personal property with the assistance of the California Secretary of State.

Back in July 2016, a victim who had followed Sandy’s advice to file a CR-110/CR-111 received notice from an escrow company that the defendant in her case had inherited a house. As the defendant attempted to have the title transferred into his name, the CR-110/CR-111 lien showed up. In order to close escrow, the defendant was forced to satisfy the victim’s lien. With some further guidance from Sandy, the victim was able to have the escrow company wire the full restitution amount (over $8,000) into her bank account one month later. 

The victim then emailed Sandy: “Good morning!! Guess what?! The full restitution was wired into our account on August 16th! We cannot believe it, but it’s true! Thank you, Sandra, for everything you did to help us get a judgment recorded. The system really does work! Please let everyone know how grateful we are for their assistance. This is such a blessing!!”

In another recent case, a victim learned that his perpetrator was about to sell his house, so he contacted our office for assistance with his CR-110/CR-111. He had turned the completed forms into the Superior Court, but they still awaited judicial signature. Sandy and DDA Michelle Iskander were able to get a judge to sign the forms immediately, and the victim quickly recorded them. Unfortunately, the title company missed the lien. It eventually acknowledged its mistake, however, and satisfied most of the restitution order (almost $30,000).

“I always encourage all of the victims I work with to file the forms because you never know when a defendant will attempt to buy or sell real property,” said Perez. “If and when they do, it will show up as a lien, which has to be satisfied before title can be transferred.” 

Attorneys at the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board and those in the District Attorney’s Appellate Services Unit with whom Sandy has worked on a variety of restitution matters also encourage that all Deputy District Attorneys assist victims in having the court sign a CR-110/CR-111 at the time the restitution order is made.

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