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Interest May Be Added to Restitution Payment Owed by Thief to Victim
Description Appeals court held that while the Kentucky statute on restitution to victims of crime did not address the issue of interest payments on the sum due, it was logical that interest be included in the restitution payments in order for victims to be made whole in their recovery.
Topic Criminal Law
Key Words Restitution; Damages; Interest Payment
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts The Hearns pled guilty to felony theft for having stolen more than $300,000 from a public school in Kentucky, where Patricia Hearn was a superintendent. They were sentenced to 10 years in prison, but the sentence was probated on the condition of restitution of the money. The state requested that the Hearns also be required to pay interest on the money, but the trial court held that it did not have authority to order interest to be paid on the stolen funds. The state appealed.
Decision Reversed. Restitution is a condition of probation in Kentucky. The statute dealing with restitution does not say anything about interest payments. "All statutes are to be liberally construed to carry out the legislature's intent." Restitution is a part of the "victim's rights movement." Restitution normally includes post-judgment interest on payments due the victim. So for restitution to be paid in full, interest can be included in the payment ordered, at the discretion of the trial court.
Citation Kentucky v. Hearn, 2000 WL 1252552 (Ct. App., Ky., 2000)

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