CCRP 895.5     

Art. 895.5. Restitution recovery division; district attorneys; establishment

            A. Restitution recovery division. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, each district attorney may establish a special division in the office designated as the "restitution recovery division" for the administration, collection, and enforcement of victim restitution, victim compensation assessments, probation fees, and payments in civil or criminal proceedings ordered by the court and payable to the state or to crime victims, judgments entered which have not been otherwise vacated, or judicial relief given from the operation of the order or judgment.

            B. Notification to district attorneys of nonpayment of restitution. The Department of Public Safety and Corrections, division of probation and parole, may notify the district attorney in writing when any probation fees, victim's restitution, victim's compensation, or like payments to any civil or criminal proceeding ordered by the court to be paid to the division have not been paid or are in default for a period of ninety days or more, and the default has not been vacated. Upon written notification to the district attorney, the restitution recovery division of the office of the district attorney may collect or enforce the collection of any funds that have not been paid or that are in default which, at the discretion of the district attorney, are appropriate to be processed.

NOTE: Paragraph C effective until August 1, 2018. See Acts 2017, No. 260, §1.

            C. Compliance enforcement. The district attorney may take all lawful action necessary to require compliance with court-ordered payments, including filing a petition for revocation of probation, filing a petition to show cause for contempt of court, or institution of any other civil or criminal proceedings which may be authorized by law or by rule of court. In addition, the district attorney may issue appropriate notices to inform the defendant of his noncompliance and of the penalty for noncompliance. In the event that the district attorney institutes any other civil or criminal proceedings pursuant to this Paragraph, the defendant shall be charged costs of court and such costs shall be added to the amount due.

NOTE: Paragraph C as amended by Acts 2017, No. 260, §1, effective August 1, 2018.

            C. Compliance enforcement. (1) Except as provided in Subparagraph (2) of this Paragraph, the district attorney may take all lawful action necessary to require compliance with court-ordered payments, including filing a petition for revocation of probation, filing a petition to show cause for contempt of court, or institution of any other civil or criminal proceedings which may be authorized by law or by rule of court. In addition, the district attorney may issue appropriate notices to inform the defendant of his noncompliance and of the penalty for noncompliance. In the event that the district attorney institutes any other civil or criminal proceedings pursuant to this Paragraph, the defendant shall be charged costs of court and such costs shall be added to the amount due.

            (2) If a court authorizes a payment plan to collect financial obligations associated with a criminal case and the defendant fails to make a payment, the court shall serve the defendant with a citation for a rule to show cause why the defendant should not be found in contempt of court for failure to comply with the payment plan. This citation shall include the following notice:

            "If you make a payment toward the above listed fines and fees on or before ____________, you will not have to come to court for this matter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING THE HEARING ON THE RULE TO SHOW CAUSE FOR PROOF OF SATISFACTION OF FINANCIAL OBLIGATION:

            (a) At the rule to show cause hearing, the court will evaluate your ability to pay the fines and fees listed above.

            (b) You are ordered to bring any documentation or information that you want the court to consider in determining your ability to pay.

            (c) Your failure to make a payment toward the ordered financial obligation may result in your incarceration only if the court finds, after a hearing, that you had the ability to pay and willfully refused to do so.

            (d) You have the right to be represented by counsel (attorney/lawyer) of your choice. If you cannot afford counsel, you have the right to be represented by a court-appointed lawyer at no cost to you. However, you must apply for a court-appointed lawyer at least seven (7) days before this court date by going to the public defender's office. There is a forty-dollar ($40) application fee.

            (e) If you are unable to make a payment toward the ordered financial obligation, you may request payment alternatives including but not limited to community service, a reduction of the amount owed, or both.

            (f) During the hearing, you will have a meaningful opportunity to explain why you have not paid the above-listed amounts by presenting evidence and testimony."

            (3) If after the hearing provided for by Subparagraph (2) of this Paragraph, the court continues to authorize a payment plan, the defendant shall be served with the same notice provided for in Subparagraph (2) of this Paragraph regarding the consequences and due process for the willful failure to pay.

            D. Collection fee. As provided for in Paragraph A of this Article, when an amount payable to the state or to a crime victim has not been satisfied in accordance with Article 888, or when a matter has been transferred to the district attorney as provided in Paragraph B of this Article, the district attorney may assess a collection fee of twenty percent of the funds due, which shall be added to the amount of funds due. Any fees collected pursuant to this Paragraph shall be distributed to the district attorney's restitution recovery division to be expended for lawful purposes for the operation of the office of the district attorney. Funds provided to the district attorney by this provision shall not reduce the amount payable to the district attorney under any other provision of law or reduce or affect the amounts of funding allocated by law to the budget of the district attorney. The funds shall be audited as other state funds are audited. This provision shall not affect the right of the office of the district attorney to proceed with the prosecution of any violation as currently provided by law.

            E. Intent. The provisions of this Article are supplemental to any procedures for the enforcement and collection of any sums or forfeitures ordered by the court and shall not be construed to repeal any law not in direct conflict with this provision.

            Acts 2009, No. 164, §1; Acts 2012, No. 531, §1, eff. June 5, 2012; Acts 2017, No. 260, §1, eff. August 1, 2018.