Pratt v. State

In Pratt v. State, Del. Supr., 486 A.2d 1154 (1983), the Court enunciated and articulated guidelines for the award of restitution to assist trial courts that have criminal jurisdiction. The following guidelines are used in determining restitution; (1) Victim Loss Statements used by the Police and/or the Presentence Office must be changed to ask for market value as opposed to replacement value or replacement costs. (2) Whenever possible, a Victim Loss Statement should be contemplated by the victim who must include a receipt or other verification of the Loss Statement. (3) A letter informing the victim the right to seek restitution must accompany the Loss Statement. (4) Restitution is discretionary and its imposition shall be governed by 11 Del. C. 4106(a). (5) Restitution should be ordered when the victim has suffered an actual monetary loss through personal injury, damage to, or destruction or theft of property. (6) Restitution should cover the victim's out-of-pocket expenses and losses as a first priority; losses covered by insurance are the lowest priority. (7) The defendant's ability to pay is an element to be considered in determining the amount of restitution and the schedule of payments. (See, Pratt v. State, 486 A.2 at 1161.)