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Civil Settlement Between Criminal Defendant and Victim Does Not Eliminate Restitution to Victim Ordered in Criminal Case
Description Appeals court held that the restitution ordered by the court in a criminal conviction, which defendant is to pay his victim, was not extinguished by a civil settlement between the defendant and his victim that covered the same actions. The criminal matter and civil matters were separate.
Topic Criminal Law
Key Words Restitution; Civil Settlement
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts DeAngelis was convicted in New Jersey state court of misapplication of entrusted property and of unlawful offer and sale of securities. He was sentenced to ten years probation and ordered to pay restitution of over $1.2 million to his victims. The primary victims had sued DeAngelis in court in Florida and obtained a civil judgment of $1.6 million against him for the same misconduct. Zito, the primary victim, then came to an out-of-court settlement with DeAngelis in Florida to settle that civil judgment. The question for the New Jersey court was "whether a defendant, convicted of a crime and subject to a restitution order, is absolved from the terms of restitution by settling with the victim in a civil action arising out of the same facts which formed the basis of the criminal conviction."
Decision "Contrary to defendant's assertion, the release Zito signed does not ... release defendant from his obligations under the restitution order. It only releases him from the specific debts arising out of or in connection with the listed matters, including the ... Florida civil action brought by Zito. The release does not list the debts arising from the criminal conviction, as debts from which defendant is being released." The restitution order stands and it does not violate the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against excessive fines, as these were separate legal matters.
Citation State v. DeAngelis, - A.2d - (2000 WL 254487, Super. Ct., App. Div., N.J.)

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