With the passage of Act 33 in 1995, Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Act was amended and the mission of Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system was redefined to include the goals of Balanced and Restorative Justice. Under these principles, juveniles have an obligation to repair what they have harmed. One way to repair damage is by reimbursing the victim for financial losses suffered because of criminal behavior. Losses may include property, medical bills, home/car repairs, insurance deductibles, etc. Paying restitution is a way of taking responsibility, and a way to try to right the wrong.
These amounts are ordered by the Court at time of sentencing, thereby requiring payment on these amounts in full. Monthly payment plans are required and payments must be made completely and consistently to ensure compliance.
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Restitution is determined when victims provide documentation of the value of items stolen or damaged and the costs incurred as a result of an offender’s criminal behavior. Determinations also take into account the amount of payment received, if any, from the victim’s insurance company.
If a case goes to Court, a claim for restitution made by a victim will be verified and the Court will determine and order the actual amount of restitution owed. For juveniles, if a case is handled at an Intake Conference, an Intake Officer will verify the amount of restitution owed by the juvenile offender.
Concerns about Court Orders should always be discussed with your attorney.
Once restitution has been ordered by the Court, your payments must be made through Probation Services, Court Collections Division. Payments will be recorded so that you receive credit and victims are paid in a timely manner.
The Court may order you to pay fines and costs, in addition to restitution, that must be paid in full. Pursuant to Act 35 of 1991, adult offenders owe monthly fee of $60 for supervision. This fee is assessed for all those with active supervision under Luzerne County Adult Probation and Parole. Juveniles with questions about fees are directed to contact 570-825-1835.
The Court Collections Division will determine suitable payment plans that are fair and reasonable to the offenders, victims, and Court to ensure payment is collected in full. Restitution must be paid in full before a case can be closed. All monies owed must be paid in full before petitioning the Court for a dismissal and expungement of ARD or PWOV. Payments will be required on a regular monthly schedule and in the amount directed. Payments should begin immediately after sentencing. Those who owe monies are encouraged to remit additional payments above and beyond their payment plan when possible. Juveniles remain on probation until the age of 21 if they do not fulfill the court ordered obligations. Juveniles must make all payments in full before a Consent Decree can expire.
Pursuant to 42 PA. C.SA. 9728 (b), all defendants who have been convicted by a Court of Common Pleas and subsequently owe more than a $1,000 in fines, costs, or restitution, will receive a civil judgment. The Clerk of Courts Office is required to file a civil judgment in the Luzerne County Prothonotary’s Office regardless of the existence of a payment plan or if payments are being made. Judgments are satisfied upon payment in full. For further information on judgments, contact 570-825-1774. Judgement will be filed against any juvenile offenders reaching the age of 21 who have not made payment in full.
Court Collections will monitor all cases for compliance. Failure to comply with payment plans may result in:
Failure to pay is a technical violation of your supervision. If restitution is not paid, a number of outcomes may result, those being:
Upon receiving information from the financial institution that a check will not be honored, the check writer will receive a notice. This notice will advise the check writer that the account for which they were trying to pay on will be assessed a $35 returned check fee. The check writer will have 3 days to make the check good, including on the payment of the returned check fee. Future personal checks will not be honored on the account. Individuals who fail to comply with the notice will be referred for criminal prosecution.
Changes in residence, phone number, and/or employment must be reported within 5 days:
Detailed reports may be requested in person, and are subject to a $0.25 per page fee, owed at the time of the request at:Department of Probation Services - Court Collections Division20 N Pennsylvania BoulevardPenn Place BuildingSuite 304 (3rd Floor)Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. (excluding federal / legal holidays)
Juvenile offenders looking to request such copies should contact 570-825-1835 to ensure a report would be available upon reporting in person.
Victims with questions or concerns about receiving their payments should speak to the appropriate contact below:
You must be in compliance with your court ordered financial obligations to have your driver’s license reinstated. If you have your license reinstated and then fail to pay, PennDOT will receive notification to suspend your privilege indefinitely until paid in full. If you have questions about your license suspension, contact: 570-408-8586.
Written medical verification, from a physician, detailing the reason, duration, and work restrictions that pertinent to an offender’s ability to work and pay must be submitted to:Department of Probation Services - Court Collections Division20 N Pennsylvania BoulevardSuite 304Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
The payment plan will remain in effect and it will be expected that payments resume upon release.
Act 84 requirements will be in effective while an offender is incarcerated - 20% of inmate monies are forwarded for payment on the offender’s outstanding financial obligations to the Court.
Juveniles ordered to pay restitution should speak to their Probation Officer, who has access to special work programs. Probation Officers may be able to assist in finding employment or performing community service in order to satisfy restitution obligation. If you are too young to work, check with your parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors, you may be able to do chores or other tasks to earn money.