Trial court has no authority to modify restitution after termination of probation

People v. Koontzy (Cal. Ct. App., Apr. 25, 2024, No. A167703) 2024 WL 1794196, at *1

Summary: Koontzy (appellant) pled no contest to fleeing the scene of an injury accident (Veh. Code § 20001, subd. (a)) and was placed on probation with the condition that she pay victim restitution. Due to the victim’s delay in providing documentation of her damages and the victim’s failure to appear on multiple dates set for restitution hearings, the trial court did not determine the amount of restitution before termination of appellant’s probation. More than two years post-termination, the court entered ordered appellant to pay $86,306.12 in victim restitution.

Appellant contends the trial court was without authority to modify the amount of restitution owed to the victim following termination of probation. Appellant relies on People v. Martinez (2017) 2 Cal.5th 1093, 218 Cal.Rptr.3d 140, 394 P.3d 1066 (Martinez) to argue that the court’s jurisdiction to do so was not extended by Penal Code section 1202.46 because the restitution was not for losses incurred “as a result of the commission of a crime.” (§ 1202.4, subd. (a)(1).) The Court of Appeal agreed and distinguished this case from its decision in People v. McCune (2022) 81 Cal.App.5th 648, 651–652, review granted Oct. 26, 2022, S276303 (McCune), in which there was no dispute that the restitution was properly imposed under section 1202.4.


In June 2017, the Napa County District Attorney charged appellant with fleeing the scene of an injury accident (Veh. Code § 20001, subd. (a); count one) and with reckless driving (Veh. Code § 23103, subd. (a); count two).

In November 2017, pursuant to an agreement, appellant pleaded no contest to count one and agreed to pay “full restitution for all losses & expenses incurred due to this collision.” In January 2018, the trial court suspended imposition of sentence and placed appellant on formal probation for three years, including a condition that she pay victim restitution in an amount to be determined.

In April 2019, the probation department filed a restitution investigation report indicating that the victim had requested $86,347.77 in restitution for “medical bills, ambulance fees, and prescription costs.” A contested restitution hearing was set and continued numerous times because the parties were awaiting supporting documentation from the victim.

Appellant completed the three-year term of probation on January 31, 2021. In February 2022, appellant filed a petition for dismissal pursuant to section 1203.4. In April 2022, the prosecution sought a determination of restitution, and, in July 2022, over appellant’s objection, the trial court concluded it retained jurisdiction to modify the victim restitution order.

In April 2023, the trial court conducted a contested restitution hearing.  The court ordered victim restitution in the amount of $86,306.12, plus 10 percent annual interest. The appeal followed.

Probation conditions ordered under section 1203.1 are subject to the limitations imposed by section 1203.3 and may not be modified following termination of probation. (McCune, supra, 81 Cal.App.5th at pp. 653–654.) McCune also acknowledged the Supreme Court’s decision in In re Griffin (1967) 67 Cal.2d 343, 346, which observed that, “The cases have consistently taken the view … that ‘the statute itself furnishes the measure of the power which may thus be exercised’ and ‘the court loses jurisdiction or power to make an order revoking or modifying the order suspending the imposition of sentence or the execution thereof and admitting the defendant to probation after the probationary period has expired.’ ”

Respondent argues that McCune, supra, 81 Cal.App.5th 648 should lead us to deny relief to appellant. McCune had the same basic factual and procedural background as this case: a defendant convicted of fleeing the scene of an injury accident was placed on probation and ordered to pay restitution to the victim in an amount to be determined. That determination was not made until after probation expired. In McCune, we upheld the post-termination restitution order under section 1202.46. (McCune, at pp. 651, 653, 297 Cal.Rptr.3d 392.)

The restitution order in this case is for losses due to the collision rather than losses due to appellant’s criminal conduct in leaving the scene. The trial court was not authorized to impose the restitution obligation under section 1202.4. Because the order was not imposed under section 1202.4, section 1202.46 did not provide a basis to extend jurisdiction to modify restitution following termination of probation. The restitution order was a condition imposed under section 1203.1, and it was subject to the limitations in section 1203.3 permitting modification of probation conditions only during the term of probation. The  trial court was without authority to modify the restitution order following termination of probation and its restitution order is reversed.

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