Updated on June 2, 2020
Payment Plans for Restitution
Issue: Did the district court illegally sentence a defendant by failing to establish a payment plan when ordering her to pay restitution?
Answer: Yes, the plain language of Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6604(b)(2) requires courts to establish a payment plan when ordering restitution.
Facts: Taylor Roberts was convicted for burglary and theft in May 2018. The district court ordered Roberts to pay restitution without specifying a specific payment plan. However, as a special condition to her probation, the court ordered Roberts to “pay restitution as directed.”
Discussion: While a “plan of restitution” as defined in Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6604(b)(1) (2018) does not necessarily include a payment plan, Section (b)(2) requires action if “a defendant is found to be in noncompliance with the plan established by the court for payment of restitution.” The plain language of the statute requires the court have a plan in place for the defendant to be found in noncompliance. The plan must be established by the court and the court cannot delegate that authority to probation officers. Furthermore, requiring establishment of a payment plan does not unduly burden the courts because Kansas courts need not consider the defendant’s ability to pay when making restitution orders and payment plans.
Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6604(b)(2) (2018) (“If, after 60 days . . . a defendant is found to be in noncompliance with the plan established by the court for payment of restitution . . . .”).
State v. Alderson, 322 P.3d 364 (Kan. 2014) (If the court orders a restitution plan following release, the plan would serve as an “advisory calculation” and be “subject to change by the prisoner review board” (quoting State v. Meeks, 415 P.3d 400, 404 (2018))).