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How to Enforce Restitution
A Victim’s Guide on How to Enforce your Restitution Order as a Civil Judgment

This information is intended for informational purposes only.  You may wish to seek the advice of an attorney. When a defendant is no longer on probation, or when the defendant is a minor, or has been paroled from prison, the government no longer has the jurisdiction to collect restitution on your behalf.

It is possible that full recovery of your loss cannot be gained through the collection efforts of the Criminal Court.  If a defendant was ordered to pay restitution to you, that order is fully enforceable as if it were a civil judgment.  (Penal Code § 1214)  As a victim, you have access to all resources available under the law

Criminal Restitution is a permanent order that does not expire and cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. (Penal Code § 1214(d))


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It is the mission of the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office to represent the interests of the people in the criminal justice system, as mandated by California State law. The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office serves the residents of San Bernardino County by: seeking the truth, protecting the innocent; holding the guilty accountable; preserving the dignity of victims and their families; and, ensuring that justice is done while always maintaining the highest ethical standards.

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