ARS 13-805 Interpretation

In State v. Pinto, 179 Ariz. 593, 594-95, 880 P.2d 1139, 1140-41 (App. 1994) the Court considered whether A.R.S. 13-805, which provides for an award of restitution for victims in criminal cases, permitted the trial court to enter a civil judgment in the amount of unpaid restitution after the defendant's probationary term had expired. Section 13-805 provides that the trial court retains jurisdiction over a criminal defendant for the purpose of restitution until it is paid in full or the defendant's sentence and term of probation expires, whichever occurs last. Pinto, 179 Ariz. at 595-96, 880 P.2d at 1141-42. But it also requires the trial court to enter criminal restitution orders in favor of the state and any other person entitled to restitution "at the time the defendant completes the defendant's period of probation or . . . sentence." 13-805(A). The defendants challenged the petitions for civil judgments as untimely because they were filed after their probationary terms had expired. Pinto, 179 Ariz. at 596, 880 P.2d at 1142. They argued that the words "at the time a defendant completes . . . probation" were jurisdictional in nature and failure to file the petitions before the expiration of probation divested the court of continuing jurisdiction over them. Id. However, Division One determined the legislature's intent with respect to the statute had been to expand rather than limit the trial court's jurisdiction over the payment of restitution. Id. The court concluded that the "words 'at the time defendant completes his or her period of probation . . .' are not jurisdictional, but are merely advisory as to when the trial court is to act." Id. Thus, Division One held that "a trial court may consider a petition for entry of civil judgment which is filed within a reasonable time after the period of probation is completed." Id.