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The People v. Steve Douglas Jones

February 29, 2012

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
STEVE DOUGLAS JONES, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. P07CRM1117)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robie , Acting P. J.

P. v. Jones

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

On remand from this court, in which we directed the trial court to "make a clear statement of the calculation method it used" to determine that defendant Steve Douglas Jones should pay $4,468.40 in victim restitution (People v. Jones (2010) 187 Cal.App.4th 418, 420, 427 (Jones I)), the trial court changed its mind about the reasonableness of the victim's claim and entered an order increasing restitution to $5,237.03.

Defendant contends the victim restitution order on remand constitutes an abuse of the trial court's discretion. We disagree and shall affirm the order.

BACKGROUND

Jones I And The Remand

In view of defendant's contention the trial court exceeded the scope of remand, we first examine the underlying dispute and our opinion in Jones I.

The victim in this case sought restitution for damage to her camper resulting from a motor vehicle collision with the defendant, in connection with which he pled no contest to driving under the influence of alcohol. (Jones I, supra, 187 Cal.App.4th at p. 420.) While it was being repaired, the victim's camper was unavailable for use as a residence in her construction business. (Id. at pp. 420-421.) The victim was initially told by the repair shop that repairs would "'probably'" take "'a couple of months, no problem'"; in fact, the repairs took nine months to complete. (Id. at p. 420.) The victim testified at the restitution hearing that she had incurred lodging and meal expenses of $6,343.42 during the nine months the camper was unavailable, but she sought reimbursement of only $3,171.71 -- half of the total loss-of-use damages -- because "'cheap motels are about twice as expensive as camping, and eating out is at least twice as expensive as cooking in your own kitchen.'" (Id. at pp. 420-421.)

The victim also sought restitution for damage to her car bumper that occurred in the parking lot of the courthouse when she appeared at a hearing in the defendant's case. (Jones I, supra, 187 Cal.App.4th at p. 421.)

At the restitution hearing, the trial court ordered defendant to pay the victim restitution of $4,468.40. (Jones I, supra, 187 Cal.App.4th at p. 421.) The court said it "'ha[d] a problem'" with the victim's claim for lodging and meals during the entire nine-month period that the camper was out of commission for repairs; it told the victim "'[y]ou . . . have a duty . . . to mitigate your damages'" and nine months to repair the camper was "'unreasonable in the Court's view.'" (Id. at pp. 421, 422.)

Although the amount of the victim's claim effectively "'cut the [nine-month expense] figure in half,'" the court instead "'doubled the lodging and food figure and then divided it by three months versus nine months to come to what was reasonable.'" (Jones I, supra, 187 Cal.App.4th at p. 421.) The court did not otherwise disclose what sum it considered appropriate for food and lodging while the camper was being ...


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