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A Better Partnership
May 16, 2013

COA holds that trial court can award triple restitution for loss of an eye under the Crime Victim Right's Act

In People v Lloyd, the Court of Appeals affirmed an award for three times the actual amount of restitution under the Crime Victim's Civil Rights Act when the defendant caused the victim to lose an eye because the injury was a 'serious impairment of body function' under the statute.

The Crime Victim's Rights Act, MCL 780.766(5), provides that a person who is the victim of a crime that results in a 'serious impairment of body function' may be awarded up to three times the restitution amount, at the trial court's discretion. In this case, the defendant struck the victim in the eye with a high-heeled shoe, causing the victim to lose her eye. She was found guilty of misdemeanor assault, and the trial court tripled the restitution award under the statute. The Court of Appeals affirmed, rejecting the defendant's argument that the court should not have tripled the restitution award for the loss of an eye. The Court of Appeals reasoned that the loss of an eye constitutes a 'serious impairment of a body function,' and the plain language does not limit or specify what the trial court may consider in exercising its discretion. Therefore, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's decision to triple the actual restitution award.

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