The People of the State of Colorado, Petitioner-Appellee, In the Interest of A.N., Juvenile-Appellant.
and County of Denver Juvenile Court No. 14JD59 Honorable D.
Brett Woods, Judge
J. Weiser, Attorney General, Jacob R. Lofgren, Assistant
Attorney General, Denver, Colorado, for Petitioner-Appellee
A. Ring, Colorado State Public Defender, Ryann S. Hardman,
Deputy State Public Defender, Denver, Colorado, for
1 Appellant, A.N., appeals the trial court's order
overruling his objection to the Judicial Department's
method of calculating and assessing monthly interest on his
unpaid restitution balance and denying his motion for an
order specifying that interest will be assessed on a yearly
basis. We affirm the trial court's order.
2 A.N. is a juvenile who stole an unoccupied car that had
been left running. Police found and pursued A.N., and a
high-speed chase ensued. The chase ended when A.N. crashed
the car in an open field and was apprehended by police. A.N.
was charged with several offenses and elected to plead guilty
to second degree aggravated motor vehicle theft. As part of
his plea, he agreed to pay restitution to the victims.
Although the parties stipulated to some of the restitution
expenses, A.N. disputed the full amount of restitution
sought. That dispute was ultimately resolved by this court in
People in Interest of A.N., (Colo.App. No. 15CA0014,
Feb. 16, 2017) (not published pursuant to C.A.R. 35(e))
(A.N. I), wherein a division of this court affirmed
the award of $9677.44 in restitution to the victims.
3 While A.N. I was pending, the Judicial Department
announced that to remedy prior inconsistencies in its method
of calculating and assessing interest on restitution
obligations, it would begin calculating and assessing 1%
interest on all restitution obligations on a monthly basis.
A.N. received a letter notifying him that, beginning in
September of that year, interest would be added to his
restitution balance at a rate of 1% per month. A.N. filed a
motion objecting to this notification in the trial court,
additionally requesting an order that his interest be
calculated and assessed at the end of each year and not on a
monthly basis. In a thorough, written order, the trial court
overruled A.N.'s objection and denied A.N.'s motion
for an order contrary to the Judicial Department's
4 A.N. makes four contentions on appeal. First, he contends
that the trial court erred in concluding that the Judicial
Department's method of calculating and assessing interest
comports with the plain language of the statute in effect at
the time that restitution was ordered. §
18-1.3-603(4)(b)(I), C.R.S. 2013 (hereinafter, the
restitution interest statute). Second, he contends that if
this court concludes that monthly interest assessments are
proper, then the restitution interest statute is
irreconcilably ambiguous as to the permitted methods of
calculating and assessing interest, requiring us to invoke
the rule of lenity to interpret the restitution interest
statute in his favor. Third, he contends that the calculation
and assessment of monthly interest undermines the
rehabilitative goals of the juvenile justice system. Fourth,
he contends that any reading of the restitution interest
statute that allows for the calculation and assessment of
interest at a time other than at the end of each year renders
the statute unconstitutionally vague.
Restitution Interest Statute
Standard of Review
5 The manner in which restitution is imposed in Colorado is a
matter of statutory law. §§ 18-1.3-601 to -603,
C.R.S. 2018. Where, as here, an appeal requires us to
interpret a statute, our review is de novo. People v.
Ortiz, 2016 COA 58, ¶ 15.
Meaning of "Per Annum"
6 When restitution is ordered by the trial court, it is due
and payable when the court enters the order. §
16-18.5-104(1), C.R.S. 2018. If a defendant cannot pay the
entire amount of restitution at that time, the defendant will
be referred to a collections investigator who will set a
payment schedule. § 16-18.5-104(4)(a)(I). The defendant
must pay interest on the unpaid balance. §
18-1.3-603(4)(b)(I), C.R.S. 2018. The restitution interest
statute was originally enacted to provide "full
restitution for victims of crime in the most expeditious
manner." Roberts v. People, 130 P.3d 1005,
1009 (Colo. 2006) (quoting § 18-1.3-601(1)(g)(I), C.R.S.
2005). When the trial court issued A.N.'s restitution
order, the relevant statute provided that "[a]ny order
for restitution made pursuant to this section shall also be
deemed to order that . . . [t]he defendant owes ...