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Restitution

Victims have the right to have the court consider making a restitution order against the offender. If restitution is ordered and not paid, victims have the right to have the order entered as a civil court judgment that is enforceable against the offender.

What Restitution Covers

When a person is convicted of a crime a judge may order the offender to pay restitution to the victim. Restitution can be ordered to pay for damages or losses a victim has suffered because of the crime. Restitution can only be ordered for expenses or damages. It cannot be ordered to compensate for things like pain and suffering.

Restitution can be ordered to cover...

  • damage or loss of property
  • financial losses or expenses due to a physical injury
  • expenses like temporary housing, food, childcare, transportation or for moving out of the offender's household where the harm is to the offender's spouse or child
  • financial loss due to fraud

Requesting Restitution

If you would like the judge to consider ordering restitution you must complete a Statement on Restitution. This form is available from the police, Police-based Victim Services or online. Police-based Victim Services or Restitution Program Staff can help you fill it out. You must return your form to the local police, RCMP or to the nearest Police-based Victim Service as soon as possible so that the judge can consider it when the offender is sentenced.

You can apply for restitution and still go ahead and repair any damages resulting from the crime. However, it is important to keep all invoices or bills for the cost of repairs, replacements or any other directly related expenses.

Collecting Restitution

If the person is convicted the judge may ask a probation officer to prepare a report about your loss and the offender's ability to pay. The judge will consider all the facts and decide if restitution should be ordered and, if so, the amount of restitution. If restitution is ordered you will be told the amount and how much time the offender has been given to pay you.

Restitution may be ordered on its own, as part of a probation order or as part of a conditional sentence. Offenders pay the money to the court and then it is passed on to the victim. Victims can register their restitution orders with the Ministry of Justice at no cost. Collection officers then act on the victim's behalf to collect any unpaid amounts.

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