In the Matter of D.A.Q., 214 N.C. App. 535 (2011)

Reversed and Remanded

The trial court’s restitution order was reversed and remanded because the court failed to make findings regarding whether restitution was in juvenile’s best interests and whether restitution was fair to the juvenile. The juvenile was adjudicated delinquent after admitting two counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle. At disposition he was ordered to pay restitution. At a supplemental hearing the court set the amount of restitution at $242.58, after finding that (i) the victim had injuries in the amount of $265.00; (ii) another juvenile involved in the same incident had been ordered to pay restitution for this and other incidents and was ordered to pay only $22.52 to the victim in this case because his restitution was prorated among victims; (iii) ordering the juvenile in this case to pay the same amount as the other juvenile would be unfair to the victim; (iv) the juvenile was able to pay the amount ordered completely through a community service program; and (v) the amount was reasonable. The Court of Appeals reversed and held that an order requiring a juvenile to pay restitution must include findings as to whether the requirement is in the juvenile’s best interest and whether it is fair to the juvenile. Compensation and fairness to the victim may not be the court’s primary concern. Also, the court could not order that the juvenile and the other juvenile who participated were jointly and severally liable because the other juvenile’s case was not before the court. An order for joint and several liability would have meant that both juveniles were liable for the full amount and would have been a worse result for the juvenile that the amount ordered.

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