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People ex rel. D.L.C.

Court of Appeals of Colorado, First Division

August 29, 2019

The People of the State of Colorado, Petitioner-Appellee, In the Interest of D.L.C., Juvenile-Appellant.

          El Paso County District Court No. 16JD742 Honorable G. David Miller, Judge

          Philip J. Weiser, Attorney General, Kevin E. McReynolds, Assistant Attorney General, Denver, Colorado, for Petitioner-Appellee

          Amy D. Trenary, Alternate Defense Counsel, Broomfield, Colorado, for Juvenile-Appellant

          OPINION

          HAWTHORNE JUDGE

         ¶ 1 Under the juvenile restitution statute, may a juvenile court suspend accrual of postjudgment interest on restitution for a juvenile while he is committed to the Division of Youth Services (DYS)? We answer "no" and affirm the district court's order denying D.L.C.'s motion to suspend postjudgment interest.

         I. Factual Background and Procedural History

         ¶ 2 D.L.C. pleaded guilty to aggravated motor vehicle theft. He also agreed to pay restitution. The juvenile court magistrate sentenced D.L.C. to probation and granted the People's restitution request, ordering D.L.C. to pay $59, 417.07[1] in restitution.

         ¶ 3 Later, the magistrate revoked D.L.C.'s probation after he pleaded guilty to committing other offenses in a different case (17JD487) and committed D.L.C. to DYS.[2] The magistrate ordered D.L.C. to pay restitution in this case and also made it a condition of his parole in case 17JD487 after his commitment to DYS.

         ¶ 4 D.L.C. filed a motion asking the magistrate to suspend postjudgment interest on restitution in this case and case 17JD487 while he is committed to DYS. After the magistrate denied the motion, D.L.C. asked the district court to review the magistrate's order. The district court upheld the magistrate's order, finding that it didn't have authority to suspend postjudgment interest under the statutory scheme or case law.

         II. Postjudgment Restitution Interest Can't Be Suspended for a Juvenile Under the Adult Restitution Statute

         ¶ 5 D.L.C. contends that the district court erred in refusing to suspend accrual of postjudgment interest on his restitution obligation while he is committed to DYS because section 19-2-918(2), C.R.S. 2018, authorizes such suspension "to ensure that restitution is ordered to be paid in a reasonable manner." We disagree.

         A. Standard of Review and Applicable Law

         ¶ 6 We generally review a trial court's restitution order for an abuse of discretion. See People v. Henry, 2018 COA 48M, ¶ 12; cf. People v. Barbre, 2018 COA 123, ¶ 21. A court abuses its discretion when its decision is manifestly arbitrary, unreasonable, or unfair, or when it misconstrues or misapplies the law. Henry, ¶ 12. We review de novo statutory interpretation questions. See Cowen v. People, 2018 CO 96, ¶ 11; Dubois v. People, 211 P.3d 41, 43 (Colo. 2009).

         ¶ 7 Our primary purpose when construing a statute is to ascertain and give effect to the General Assembly's intent. Cowen, ¶ 12. We look first to the statute's language, giving words and phrases their plain and ordinary meanings. Doubleday v. People, 2016 CO 3, ¶ 19. We read statutory words and phrases in context and construe them according to the rules of grammar and common usage. Id.; Marquez v. People, 2013 CO 58, ΒΆ 8 ("It is widely accepted that where the legislature has not expressly defined a statutory term or otherwise limited its meaning, that term ...


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