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State v. Sanchez

Supreme Court of North Dakota

November 6, 2018

State of North Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellee
v.
Kevin Dwayne Sanchez, Defendant and Appellant

          Appeal from the District Court of Williams County, Northwest Judicial District, the Honorable Paul W. Jacobson, Judge.

          Nathan K. Madden, Assistant State's Attorney, Williston, North Dakota, for plaintiff and appellee.

          Daniel A. Gulya, Watford City, North Dakota, for defendant and appellant.

          OPINION

          Tufte, Justice.

         [¶ 1] Kevin Sanchez appeals from an order requiring that he pay $14, 526.62 in restitution to victims of his theft crimes. Because the district court did not abuse its discretion in extending its self-imposed deadline for scheduling or holding a restitution hearing and in ordering restitution, we affirm.

         I

         [¶ 2] In 2017 Sanchez was convicted of several counts of theft of property in Williams County, and the criminal judgments stated that "[r]estitution may be determined at a later date." In September 2017 Sanchez moved for return of property and a determination of restitution. On September 29, 2017, the district court ordered the return of his property "and that a stipulation regarding restitution be filed or a hearing on the same be scheduled within thirty (30) days of the date of this Order."

         [¶ 3] On October 27, 2017, the State moved to set a hearing for restitution, and on November 9, 2017, the district court through its calendar control clerk set a hearing for December 18, 2017. On December 11, 2017, Sanchez moved to dismiss the restitution proceeding because:

The 30 days this Court allowed the parties to have restitution to be resolved and settled "Determined" has expired, no extension of time has been requested or granted by this Court. Further, it would seem that it would be outside the jurisdiction of this Court to effect any changes to the Criminal Judgment.

         After the hearing was postponed, on January 8, 2018, the court, before the State responded, denied Sanchez's motion without explanation. A hearing was eventually held on January 24, 2018. Sanchez stipulated that he owed the victims the amount sought by the State and the court ordered him to pay restitution in the amount of $14, 526.62.

         II

         [¶ 4] Sanchez argues no restitution should have been assessed because a hearing was not scheduled or held before the district court's 30-day deadline expired.

         [¶ 5] A district court may retain jurisdiction to address restitution after a sentence is imposed. See State v. Hatlewick, 2005 ND 125, ¶¶ 12-1 5, 700 N.W.2d 717; see also State v. Putney, 2016 ND 135, ¶ 4, 881 N.W.2d 663. In State v. Carson, 2017 ND 196, ¶ 5, 900 N.W.2d 41, we explained:

When reviewing a restitution order, we look to whether the district court acted "within the limits set by statute," which is a standard similar to our abuse of discretion standard. State v. Gill, 2004 ND 137, ¶ 5, 681 N.W.2d 832. "A district court abuses its discretion if it acts in an arbitrary, unreasonable, or unconscionable manner, if its decision is not the product of a rational mental process leading ...

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