The California Supreme Court Reverses Juvenile Graffiti Cleanup Restitution Order Based on “Cost Model” in Luis M.: Big Win for PJDC’s Rourke Stacy

In In re Luis M., S207314, the City of Lancaster averaged costs of graffiti cleanup to determine the child’s restitution award. In a unanimous opinion on June 19, 2014, California’s highest court rejected this approach, reaffirming the long standing principal that restitution under Welfare and Institutions Code section 730.6 “must have some factual nexus to the damage caused by the minor’s conduct.” Without such nexus, wrote Justice Carol A. Corrigan who authored the opinion, “the court’s award was not based on sufficient evidence that the amount of claimed loss was a result of Luis’s conduct.”

Juvenile defenders will doubtless find this rare restitution win useful in litigating future restitution claims.

The opinion can be found here:

Congratulations Rourke Stacy on a 7-0 win!