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Loren
Loren, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 29011
Experience:  30 years experience representing clients.
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My car was stolen in FRANKLIN COUNTY PA. It was found the

Customer Question

My car was stolen in FRANKLIN COUNTY PA. It was found the next day and the thief was caught. Yesterday at his preliminary hearing he decided to take a deal offered by the prosecution that included $6,200 in restitution for damage the thief did to the car. Restitution does not sound like it is really collectable in this county SO I WAS WONDERING IF I COULD ALSO GET A JUDGEMENT AGAINST THE GUY. I believe that a judgement would give me more ability to get the restitution paid, like I could garnish wages and put liens on his property etc...My question is "can i file a judgement against the defendant and let the court first do what they can do to get the restitution paid and then I get try to get satisfaction from the judgement?"
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Loren replied 5 months ago.

Good afternoon. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you.

Yes, you can file suit for the damages in civil court. Once you get your judgment then you can garnish the defendant's wages and accounts and attach their personal property, as well. You will likely need to credit any payments actually received from the restitution order against the civil judgment.

If your claim does not exceed $12,000 you can sue in small claims court. Small claims court is designed to be "user friendly" so that you can present a claim without an attorney. Also, it moves much more quickly than regular court. You can get the necessary forms to start from the clerk of the court.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Do you know this to be a fact in PA? Or are you just speaking in general terms? Does a defendant have to provide the Court's restitution people/department with income and asset information and can I get a copy of it to help me collect?
Expert:  Loren replied 5 months ago.

Yes, this is true in Pennsylvania. The restitution order is not the same as a civil judgment. The restitution will likely be tied to the successful completion of his sentence.

The defendant will not have to provide such information to the court, as the court will not take action to collect. The burden is on the defendant to make his payment so as to successfully comply with the sentence.

Expert:  Loren replied 5 months ago.

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