Stay in touch with the District Attorney's Office regarding your case.
Every victim should become proactive where his or her case is concerned. Should you have additional information concerning your restitution, do not hesitate to contact the District Attorney's (DA's) Office. Additionally, you may want to contact the DA's Office simply to follow up on the status of sentencing or restitution.
Complete and return all forms promptly to the District Attorney.
In the event the DA's Office should send you any questionnaires or forms to complete concerning losses you may have incurred, it is critical you complete and return all forms as soon as possible. Often times the DA is dealing with a very short window of opportunity.
To assist you in obtaining your restitution order during the sentencing, the DA's Office will need the questionnaires and/or forms completed accurately. Any delay on your part may slow down the process of collecting any restitution from the offender.
Complete CDCR 1707 immediately.
Victims should obtain as much information as possible regarding which forms must be completed and ensure that all deadlines are met. Most often the victim/witness advocates in the DA's Office will assist victims through the process, such as providing information on sentencing dates, forms to complete if their offenders are sentenced to state prison, and other programs that might be helpful. However, it is ultimately the victim's responsibility to contact the CDCR either by completing all necessary forms, or by phone to provide the information verbally.
Inform the CDCR of address/phone change.
Payments are mailed to the victim's address using the information obtained from the CDCR 1707 form, which victims complete and mail in. In the event a victim's address or phone number should change, the victim must contact the Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS) to update the information as soon as possible. A delay in the payment process will occur if the information is not current or accurate.
Follow-up with required documentation.
Often a victim will contact our office to begin the collection process. However, in some cases the courts have not made an order of restitution. The OVSRS staff will inform the victim to contact the DA's Office for resolution and clarification. In some cases, the victim must push to have their case reheard in court so that an order of restitution can be awarded. It is the victim's responsibility to follow up on any necessary documentation required by the CDCR to begin the collection process.
Restitution is not affected by the offender filing for bankruptcy. Restitution is considered a debt owed until paid in full. Victims may seek remedy through the civil process. Check with your local county clerk's office for filing procedures and cost. The CDCR cannot assist you at this level.
Currently, the CDCR collects and distributes proportionately to all eligible victims for all cases. For example, if one victim is owed $4,000 and a second victim is owed $1,000, and we collect $100, then first victim gets $80 and the second gets $20. Distribution is based upon the amount of money still owed to a victim at the time of collection.