Supreme Court of California Justia
Citation 50 Cal. 4th 19, 235 P.3d 11, 112 Cal. Rptr. 3d 685

People v. Anderson

Filed 7/22/10

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA



THE PEOPLE,
Plaintiff and Respondent,
S170778
v.
Ct.App. D050432
ELI JORDAN ANDERSON,
San Diego County
Defendant and Appellant.
Super. Ct. No. SCE262419

Defendant was convicted of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in
death,1 and was placed on felony probation pursuant to Penal Code section
1203.1.2 As a condition of probation, the court ordered defendant to pay
restitution for the victim‟s final hospital expenses. After the prosecutor
represented that the deceased had no “financial ability” to pay those expenses, the
court ordered that restitution be paid directly to the hospital. The sole issue before
us is whether the order of direct payment to the hospital was statutorily
unauthorized under section 1203.1. Defendant argues that section 1203.1
expressly requires trial courts to apply the definitions of “victim” contained in
section 1202.4, the statute implementing the constitutional right to restitution.
Defendant asserts the hospital was not a victim as defined in section 1202.4.

1
Vehicle Code section 20001, subdivisions (a) and (b)(2).
2
Further statutory references are to the Penal Code unless otherwise
indicated.
1



Defendant is incorrect that the victim definitions of section 1202.4 are
incorporated into section 1203.1. Under the particular and narrow circumstances
of this case, the trial court did not abuse its discretion under section 1203.1 by
ordering that restitution be paid directly to the hospital.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND3
Shortly after midnight on July 2, 2005, defendant was driving on the five-
lane Fletcher Parkway in San Diego County. As he briefly took his eyes off the
road to change the radio station, he heard a bang and his windshield shattered.
Defendant pulled into a mall parking lot to look at his car, believing
someone had thrown a rock at his windshield. Seeing the significant damage to
his car and blood at the top of the windshield, he realized he had struck either an
animal or a person. Defendant drove slowly through a parking lot bordering the
parkway, but did not see what he might have hit. He drove to the freeway and
telephoned his girlfriend, who told him to meet her at a restaurant parking lot. He
left his car there and they went to the girlfriend‟s house.
A passing motorist saw 50-year-old Robert Milligan lying across the fifth
lane of traffic, trying unsuccessfully to lift himself from the pavement. Help was
summoned, but Milligan died at the hospital from massive head and chest injuries.
Defendant‟s girlfriend and her brother drove back to the scene, spoke to a
police officer and learned that a pedestrian had been struck. They then drove to
the restaurant parking lot and saw blood on defendant‟s shattered windshield.
When the girlfriend returned home and told defendant what happened, he appeared

3
Because we have limited review to a narrow legal question, we have largely
condensed the factual background from the Court of Appeal‟s opinion. We accept
the Court of Appeal‟s statement of fact unless a party calls the Court of Appeal‟s
attention to any alleged omission or misstatement in a petition for rehearing. (Cal.
Rules of Court, rule 8.500(c)(2).) Although defendant petitioned for rehearing, he
did not do so on the basis of any factual omission or misstatement.
2


shocked and wanted to turn himself in. Nonetheless, he did not do so. The next
day police learned his identity from anonymous tips.
Evidence indicated that Milligan had been running from the median toward
the sidewalk when he was struck. The investigating police officer concluded the
“primary collision factor” was the victim‟s jaywalking.
Defendant‟s first trial ended in a hung jury. His second trial produced a
conviction.4
At sentencing, the court noted that it had received and considered a written
statement from the victim‟s mother, Nancy Milligan. The statement included a
summary of expenses associated with the victim‟s death. Mrs. Milligan also
addressed the court. She supported a grant of probation, but urged that defendant
be ordered to pay the victim‟s medical expenses. Mrs. Milligan had been
“harassed week after week for thousands of dollars in payment of medical bills.”
At the conclusion of the hearing, the court placed defendant on five years‟ formal
probation and sentenced him to one year in the county jail. Regarding restitution,
the trial court stated: “[A]ctual victim restitution is being ordered in favor of the

4
Vehicle Code section 20001, subdivision (a) provides: “The driver of a
vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself
or herself, or in the death of any person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the
scene of the accident and shall fulfill the requirements of Sections 20003 and
20004.”

Vehicle Code sections 20003 and 20004 specify the duties of the driver at
the scene. Section 20003 provides in relevant part: “(a) The driver of any vehicle
involved in an accident resulting in injury to . . . any person shall also give his or
her name, current residence address, . . . the registration number of the vehicle he
or she is driving, and the name and current residence address of the owner to the
person struck . . . , and shall give the information to any traffic or police officer at
the scene of the accident. The driver also shall render to any person injured in the
accident reasonable assistance, including transporting, or making arrangements for
transporting, any injured person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or
surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary . . . .”
3


surviving family members of Robert Milligan,” in an amount to be set following a
formal restitution hearing.
At the restitution hearing, the prosecutor presented receipts for out-of-
pocket expenses incurred by Milligan‟s mother and sister for funeral expenses and
related costs. The prosecutor also presented two pages of hospital bills totaling
$31,397.55 for Milligan‟s treatment at Sharp Memorial Hospital. The prosecutor
stated, “I understand that the family apparently is not liable for those amounts, but,
nonetheless, from the People‟s perspective, [the hospital], who is going to have to
eat those expenses in light of the decedent‟s lack of financial ability, . . . should
be entitled to those, too.” Defense counsel acknowledged the trial court‟s broad
discretion to impose conditions of probation, but objected to restitution for
medical expenses on the sole basis that the evidence supported the defense theory
that Milligan committed suicide.5 The trial court rejected counsel‟s argument.
After reviewing the family‟s itemized expenses, the court ordered restitution of
$31,397.55 to the hospital and $2,694.47 to the family members.
In the Court of Appeal, defendant argued that restitution to the hospital and
family should be stricken. Defendant emphasized that he was not convicted of
causing the accident, but only of improperly leaving the scene. He asserted that
restitution was improper under the mandatory victim restitution statute, which
requires a causal relationship between the criminal conduct and the loss. The gist
of his argument was that he should not be ordered to pay restitution because
Milligan was the cause of his own injuries. Defendant also urged that restitution
was improper as an exercise of the court‟s discretion under section 1203.1.
The Court of Appeal upheld the restitution order under section 1203.1. It
relied on People v. Carbajal (1995) 10 Cal.4th 1114 (Carbajal), in which we

5
In the first trial, defendant was permitted to present evidence that Milligan
may have committed suicide by jumping in front of defendant‟s car. This
evidence was excluded in the second trial.
4


determined that a restitution order for property damage was proper because the
loss was “reasonably related” to the defendant‟s crime of leaving the scene of the
accident and because it served the goal of deterring future criminality. (Id. at p.
1123.) In applying the Carbajal principles, the Court of Appeal here observed:
“Because the jury necessarily found, as an element of the crime of felony hit and
run, that Anderson was involved in an accident that resulted in injury or death, the
restitution order was reasonably related to the expenses related to Milligan‟s
injuries and death. Further, the order serves the purpose of deterring future
criminality.”
Defendant petitioned for rehearing on the propriety of restitution to the
hospital only, relying on People v. Slattery (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 1091
(Slattery), which was decided by the Third District Court of Appeal after
defendant‟s appellate matter was submitted for decision. Slattery concerned a
defendant sentenced to prison for assault and ordered to pay the deceased victim‟s
hospital expenses under section 1202.4. The Slattery court determined that the
hospital was not a direct victim for purposes of mandatory restitution required by
that statute. Defendant argued the reasoning of the Slattery court was applicable
to his circumstances. He asserted that section 1203.1 expressly provides that
restitution orders imposed under its authority must comply with the requirements
of section 1202.4.
The Court of Appeal denied defendant‟s petition for rehearing, with no
change in the judgment, but modified its opinion to include a discussion of
Slattery, supra, 167 Cal.App.4th 1091. Without addressing defendant‟s statutory
argument, the Court of Appeal declined to apply Slattery.
II. DISCUSSION
The propriety of restitution under section 1203.1 for defendant‟s conviction
of leaving the scene is not in dispute here. The only question before us is whether
an order of restitution payable directly to the hospital was unauthorized under that
statute.
5
Defendant relies on a provision of section 1203.1 to assert that the
requirements of section 1202.4, including its “victim” definitions, are incorporated
into section 1203.1. He asserts that, accordingly, the hospital was not an
authorized victim for purposes of restitution. As we shall explain, defendant
misinterprets the applicable provision of section 1203.1 and conflates two separate
statutes relating to restitution. The application of section 1203.1 is not limited by
the terms of the later-enacted section 1202.4.
At the outset, respondent contends that defendant has forfeited his claim by
failing to assert it in the trial court. However, defendant, based on his
interpretation of section 1203.1, argues that the trial court exceeded its statutory
authority in ordering restitution to the hospital. As framed, his claim falls within
the “narrow exception” for “a so-called unauthorized sentence or a sentence
entered in excess of jurisdiction.” (In re Sheena K. (2007) 40 Cal.4th 875, 886-
887.) “[T]he „unauthorized sentence‟ concept constitutes a narrow exception to
the general requirement that only those claims properly raised and preserved by
the parties are reviewable on appeal. [Citations.]” (People v. Scott (1994) 9
Cal.4th 331, 354.) “[A] sentence is generally „unauthorized‟ where it could not
lawfully be imposed under any circumstance in the particular case.” (Ibid.) “An
obvious legal error at sentencing that is „correctable without referring to factual
findings in the record or remanding for further findings‟ is not subject to
forfeiture.” (In re Sheena K., at p. 887.) We therefore consider whether the trial
court‟s order of restitution was unauthorized under section 1203.1, although we
ultimately reject defendant‟s statutory interpretation.6

6
At oral argument, appellate counsel argued for the first time that restitution
should be awarded to the victim‟s estate, and urged that the matter be remanded
for a determination of the proper amount of restitution. Counsel argued that the
hospital, in order to resolve the outstanding bill, may have been willing to accept
less than the full amount owed. As the Attorney General responded, however, the
appropriate amount of restitution was subject to challenge by defendant regardless

(footnote continued on next page)
6


A. Comparison of Sections 1203.1 and 1202.4
Section 1203.1 was added to the Penal Code in 1935. (Stats. 1935, ch. 604,
§ 2, pp. 1708-1709.) The statute gives trial courts broad discretion to impose
probation conditions to foster rehabilitation and to protect public safety.
(Carbajal, supra, 10 Cal.4th at p. 1120.) The court may impose upon probationers
“reasonable conditions, as it may determine are fitting and proper to the end that
justice may be done, that amends may be made to society for the breach of the
law, for any injury done to any person resulting from that breach, and generally
and specifically for the reformation and rehabilitation of the probationer . . . .”
(§ 1203.1, subd. (j).)
Restitution as a condition of probation has always been expressly
authorized by section 1203.1. Originally, the statute called on trial courts to
consider reparation or restitution as a condition of probation. (See Stats. 1935, ch.
604, § 2, p. 1708; People v. Birkett (1999) 21 Cal.4th 226, 234, fn. 8.) The statute
was amended in 1982 to require that restitution be imposed “in proper cases.”
(Stats. 1982, ch. 1413, § 6, pp. 5403-5404; now § 1203.1, subd. (a)(3).)
While restitution under section 1203.1 may serve to compensate the victim
of a crime, it also addresses the broader probationary goal of rehabilitating the
defendant. “ „Restitution is an effective rehabilitative penalty because it forces the
defendant to confront, in concrete terms, the harm his actions have caused.‟ ”
(Carbajal, supra, 10 Cal.4th at p. 1124.) Restitution “impresses upon the offender

(footnote continued from previous page)

of who the recipient was. Defendant did not object in the trial court to the amount
of restitution ordered. His sole objection was that restitution for these expenses
was improper because the victim‟s injuries resulted from a suicidal act. Defendant
has waived a claim of error as to the amount of restitution by failing to object on
that ground in the trial court. (See In re Sheena K., supra, 40 Cal.4th at p. 882.)
7


the gravity of the harm he has inflicted upon another, and provides an opportunity
to make amends.” (See Charles S. v. Superior Court (1982) 32 Cal.3d 741, 748.)
We noted in Carbajal, supra, 10 Cal.4th 1114, that under section 1203.1,
“California courts have long interpreted the trial courts‟ discretion to encompass
the ordering of restitution as a condition of probation even when the loss was not
necessarily caused by the criminal conduct underlying the conviction.” (Id. at p.
1121.) As we explained: “Under certain circumstances, restitution has been found
proper where the loss was caused by related conduct not resulting in a conviction
(People v. Miller [(1967)] 256 Cal.App.2d [348,] 355-356), by conduct underlying
dismissed and uncharged counts (People v. Goulart (1990) 224 Cal.App.3d 71,
79), and by conduct resulting in an acquittal (People v. Lent [(1975)] 15 Cal.3d
[481,] 483). There is no requirement the restitution order be limited to the exact
amount of the loss in which the defendant is actually found culpable, nor is there
any requirement the order reflect the amount of damages that might be recoverable
in a civil action. (See In re Brian S. (1982) 130 Cal.App.3d 523, 528-532, 534, fn.
4.)” (Carbajal, at p. 1121.) In Carbajal, we upheld a restitution order for
property damage after concluding that “in the context of the hit-and-run statute,
the restitution condition may relate to conduct that is not in itself necessarily
criminal, i.e., the probationer‟s driving at the time of the accident.” (Id. at p. 1123,
fn. omitted.)
Section 1202.4 has a more recent history. The statute in its present form is
the result of a lengthy and complex evolution that began with the 1982 adoption of
Proposition 8, also known as the Victims‟ Bill of Rights. That measure added
article I, section 28 to the California Constitution, which provided: “It is the
unequivocal intention of the People of the State of California that all persons who
suffer losses as a result of criminal activity shall have the right to restitution from
8
the persons convicted of the crimes for losses they suffer.” (Cal. Const., art. I,
§ 28, former subd. (b).)7
Section 1202.4 provides: “It is the intent of the Legislature that a victim of
crime who incurs any economic loss as a result of the commission of a crime shall
receive restitution directly from any defendant convicted of that crime.”
(§ 1202.4, subd. (a)(1).) Subject to exceptions not relevant here, “in every case in
which a victim has suffered economic loss as a result of the defendant‟s conduct,
the court shall require that the defendant make restitution to the victim or victims
in an amount established by court order, based on the amount of loss claimed by
the victim or victims or any other showing to the court.” (Id., subd. (f).)
The term “victim” is specifically defined in section 1202.4, subdivision (k)
and encompasses “[a]ny corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership,
association, joint venture, government, governmental subdivision, agency, or
instrumentality, or any other legal or commercial entity when that entity is a direct
victim of a crime.” (§ 1202.4, subd. (k)(2), italics added.) “Thus, Penal Code
section 1202.4, subdivision (k) permits restitution to a business or governmental
entity only when it is a direct victim of crime.” (People v. Martinez (2005) 36
Cal.4th 384, 393.) When the Legislature added the direct victim language to
section 1202.4 in 1994, “that term already carried a precise meaning.” (Ibid., fn.
omitted.) This definition was adopted in People v. Birkett, supra, 21 Cal.4th 226,
“in which we described a provision in Penal Code former section 1203.04
permitting restitution to entities that are „direct‟ victims of crime as limiting
restitution to „entities against which the probationer‟s crimes had been
committed‟—that is, entities that are the „immediate objects of the probationer‟s
offenses.‟ (Birkett, supra, at pp. 232-233.)” (Martinez, at p. 393.)

7
California Constitution article I, section 28 was amended by initiative
measure on November 4, 2008. Former subdivision (b) of that provision was
renumbered subdivision (b)(13) and the text of the subdivision was amended.
9


Nevertheless, as the mandatory direct victim restitution statutes were
implemented, section 1203.1 continued to provide trial courts “broad general
discretion to fashion and impose conditions of probation appropriate to individual
cases.” (People v. Birkett, supra, 21 Cal.4th at p. 235.) The predecessor statute to
section 1202.4 expressly provided that “[n]othing in this section shall be construed
to limit the authority of the court to grant or deny probation or provide conditions
of probation.” (Former § 1203.04, subd. (g), as amended Stats. 1994, ch. 1106,
§ 4, p. 6552.) In People v. Birkett, we recognized that courts interpreted their
discretion under section 1203.1 as ordering restitution conditions even under
circumstances not strictly governed by Proposition 8 and the mandatory restitution
statutes. (Birkett, at p. 235.)
Trial courts continue to retain authority to impose restitution as a condition
of probation in circumstances not otherwise dictated by section 1202.4. In both
sections 1203.1 and 1202.4, restitution serves the purposes of both criminal
rehabilitation and victim compensation. But the statutory schemes treat those
goals differently. When section 1202.4 imposes its mandatory requirements in
favor of a victim‟s right to restitution, the statute is explicit and narrow. When
section 1203.1 provides the court with discretion to achieve a defendant‟s
reformation, its ambit is necessarily broader, allowing a sentencing court the
flexibility to assist a defendant as the circumstances of his or her case require.
B. Effect of Section 1203.1, Subdivision (a)(3)
Despite the distinction between the statutes, defendant nevertheless argues
that the requirements of section 1202.4 have been incorporated into section
1203.1.
Section 1203.1 provides that “[t]he court shall consider whether the
defendant as a condition of probation shall make restitution to the victim or the
Restitution Fund.” (§ 1203.1, subd. (b).) Section 1203.1 does not define “victim.”
However, defendant refers to section 1203.1, subdivision (a)(3), which states:
“The court shall provide for restitution in proper cases. The restitution order shall
10
be fully enforceable as a civil judgment forthwith and in accordance with Section
1202.4 of the Penal Code.” (Italics added.) Defendant reads the italicized phrase
to mean that a restitution order imposed under section 1203.1 must comply with
the requirements of mandatory restitution orders imposed under section 1202.4,
including its definitions of “victim.” This reading is overbroad.
We apply basic principles of statutory construction to ascertain the
Legislature‟s intent in using the phrase “in accordance with Section 1202.4 of the
Penal Code.” “Because the language of a statute is generally the most reliable
indicator of the Legislature‟s intent, we look first to the words of the statute,
giving them their ordinary meaning and construing them in context. If the
language is unambiguous, we presume the Legislature meant what it said, and the
plain meaning of the statute controls. (Fitch v. Select Products Co. (2005) 36
Cal.4th 812, 818; People v. Braxton (2004) 34 Cal.4th 798, 810.)” (People v.
Hudson (2006) 38 Cal.4th 1002, 1009.)
The grammatical structure of the sentence upon which defendant relies does
not support his interpretation. The statutory language provides that “the restitution
order shall be fully enforceable as if the order were a civil judgment,” with two
modifiers: “forthwith” and “in accordance with Section 1202.4.” “Forthwith” is
defined as “immediately” (Merriam-Webster‟s Collegiate Dict. (11th ed. 2003)
p. 493), and “accordance” is defined as “agreement, conformity” (id. at p. 8). In
other words, the restitution order shall be fully enforceable, immediately and in
conformance with section 1202.4.
In turn, section 1202.4 provides that a restitution order “shall be
enforceable as if the order were a civil judgment.” (Id., subds. (a)(3)(B), (i).)
Section 1202.4, subdivision (m) provides that, as to probationers, “[a]ny portion of
a restitution order that remains unsatisfied after a defendant is no longer on
probation shall continue to be enforceable by a victim pursuant to Section 1214
until the obligation is satisfied.” The language of section 1203.1 relied on by
11
defendant reflects no more than the Legislature‟s intent to assure consistency in
the immediate enforceability of restitution orders.
The legislative history provides further, albeit unnecessary, confirmation.
The sentence in section 1203.1, subdivision (a)(3) upon which defendant relies
was added in 1998. (Stats. 1998, ch. 931, § 393.5, p. 6611.) Section 1202.4 was
amended at the same time. (Stats. 1998, ch. 201, § 1, pp. 1012, 1014.) Section
1202.4 had provided that a restitution order was “enforceable as if the order were a
civil judgment pursuant to section 1214.” (Id., former subds. (a)(3)(B), (i).) The
1998 amendment deleted the italicized phrase.
In early 1998, Senate Bill No. 1608 (1997-1998 Reg. Sess.), which led to
the amendments at issue, was introduced. A report of the Senate Committee on
Public Safety stated the purpose of the bill was “to make it clear that restitution
orders obtained by victims of crime and enforceable against a convicted offender
may be enforced as a civil order immediately, without any delay during a period of
probation (in lieu of incarceration) or parole (after release from prison).” (Sen.
Com. on Public Safety, Analysis of Sen. Bill No. 1608 (1997-1998 Reg. Sess.) as
amended Apr. 21, 1998, p. 2 (Analysis).) The report noted that section 1214 had
created some confusion in that regard. (Analysis, at p. 4.) Specifically, the bill
was described as effecting the following changes to the statutes: “(1) Adds to
Section 1203.1 that a restitution order is effective immediately upon issuance,
thereby removing any delay during a period of probation. [¶] (2) Deletes from
Section 1202.4 any reference to the enforcement of restitution orders „pursuant to
Section 1214‟ so that it is clear that restitution orders may be enforced without any
delay during a period of probation or parole.” (Analysis, at p. 3.) Nothing in the
legislative documents supports the broader construction urged by defendant.
Because the definitions of “victim” in section 1202.4, subdivision (k) are
not incorporated into section 1203.1, defendant‟s reliance on Slattery, supra, at
page 1091, is inapposite. Slattery was convicted of assaulting her dependent
mother, who later died leaving unpaid hospital expenses. Defendant was
12
sentenced to state prison and the court ordered her to pay restitution to the hospital
under the authority of section 1202.4, subdivision (f). (Slattery, at pp. 1094-1095.)
The Court of Appeal in Slattery modified the judgment by striking the
restitution order and otherwise affirmed the judgment. It determined that the
hospital was not a “direct victim” of the defendant‟s crime, as defined in section
1202.4, subdivision (k)(2). “[T]he hospital incurred its economic loss indirectly
from defendant‟s conduct: first, defendant illegally inflicted injuries upon her
mother; second, Marshall Hospital treated defendant‟s mother for the injuries;
third, defendant‟s mother did not pay the hospital bills.” (Slattery, supra, 167
Cal.App.4th at p. 1097.)
The Slattery court stated: “Section 1202.4, subdivision (f) explicitly
requires that the immediate victim, defendant‟s mother, be made whole for her
economic losses, including medical expenses, resulting from defendant‟s criminal
conduct. (§ 1202.4, subd. (f), (f)(3)(B).) Because defendant‟s mother is deceased,
the court must order the restitution to be paid to her estate. Diverting the
restitution due defendant‟s mother to a third party, such as Marshall Hospital,
violates the statute because it fails to make defendant‟s mother whole. (Birkett,
supra, 21 Cal.4th at pp. 245-247.) As the People concede, Marshall Hospital may
bring a civil claim against the mother‟s estate to ensure payment of the debt.”
(Slattery, supra, 167 Cal.App.4th at p. 1097.)
As discussed above, section 1202.4‟s mandatory requirement for restitution
to a legal or commercial entity is expressly limited to situations in which that
entity was the direct victim of defendant‟s criminal conduct. Slattery‟s holding on
this point is correct, but it does not dispose of this case. Restitution here was not
ordered pursuant to section 1202.4, but rather under the broader, discretionary
authority of section 1203.1. We turn to the application of that statute.
C. Restitution Order Under Section 1203.1
The trial court‟s discretion under section 1203.1, “although broad,
nevertheless is not without limits; a condition of probation must serve a purpose
13
specified in the statute.” (Carbajal, supra, 10 Cal.4th at p. 1121; see People v.
Olguin (2008) 45 Cal.4th 375, 379.)
We determine whether the restitution order, as a condition of probation, is
arbitrary or capricious or otherwise exceeds the bounds of reason under the
circumstances. (People v. Olguin, supra, 45 Cal.4th at p. 384; Carbajal, supra, 10
Cal.4th at p. 1121.) “A condition of probation will not be held invalid unless it
„(1) has no relationship to the crime of which the offender was convicted, (2)
relates to conduct which is not in itself criminal, and (3) requires or forbids
conduct which is not reasonably related to future criminality . . . .‟ ” (People v.
Lent, supra, 15 Cal.3d at p. 486.) Probation is “an act of clemency and grace”
(People v. Rodriguez (1990) 51 Cal.3d 437, 445), not a matter of right (People v.
Rubics (2006) 136 Cal.App.4th 452, 459). “Because a defendant has no right to
probation, the trial court can impose probation conditions that it could not
otherwise impose, so long as the conditions are not invalid under the three Lent
criteria.” (Id. at p. 460.) If the defendant finds the conditions of probation more
onerous than the sentence he would otherwise face, he may refuse probation.
(People v. Olguin, supra, 45 Cal.4th at p. 379.)
As we have emphasized, the validity of restitution for Milligan‟s medical
expenses is not before us. We determine only whether the court properly ordered
payment of that restitution directly to the treating hospital.
Even under the general term “victim” contained in section 1203.1, it is not
disputed that Milligan was the victim of the accident in which defendant failed to
stop and render aid. Had Milligan lived, he would have been entitled to restitution
for the debt he owed to the hospital. Because Milligan died, however, the court
confronted the issue of how to structure the restitution order.
When a victim is deceased, the court may properly order restitution paid to
the victim‟s estate under section 1203.1. The Probate Code provides an orderly
process for claims against the estate of a deceased victim. Nevertheless, while
restitution to the estate was one available option, it was not the only one under the
14
particular circumstances of this case. Under the court‟s broad discretion, an order
of restitution payable directly to the hospital was not unreasonable.
Efforts made to save Milligan‟s life at Sharp Memorial Hospital resulted in
medical expenses totaling $31,397.55. As the Court of Appeal pointed out, the
hospital, a trauma center, was statutorily obligated to provide emergency treatment
to Milligan regardless of his ability to pay. (See Health & Saf. Code, § 1317,
subds. (a), (b) & (d).)8 At the time of the restitution hearing, almost two years
after the accident, those medical expenses remained unpaid. The victim‟s mother
told the court that she was being harassed for payment. The prosecutor
represented that the victim lacked assets to pay the hospital bill. The prosecutor
also represented that the family was not liable for those expenses. Neither
representation made by the prosecutor was challenged by defendant. Moreover,
there is no evidence in this record that a probate estate was ever opened after
Milligan‟s death, which would have allowed for the filing of creditor claims. The
victim‟s mother voiced no objection to direct restitution to the hospital.
As we have emphasized, section 1203.1, subdivision (j) authorizes the
imposition of reasonable conditions of probation: “The court may impose and
require . . . [such] reasonable conditions[] as it may determine are fitting and
proper to the end that justice may be done, that amends may be made to society for

8
Health and Safety Code section 1317, subdivision (a) provides:
“Emergency services and care shall be provided to any person requesting the
services or care, or for whom services or care is requested, for any condition in
which the person is in danger of loss of life . . . .” The statute further provides that
emergency care shall not be based upon, or affected by the person‟s ability to pay
for medical services. (Id., subd. (b).)

Subdivision (d) provides: “Emergency service and care shall be rendered
without first questioning the patient or any other person as to his or her ability to
pay therefor. However, the patient or his or her legally responsible relative or
guardian shall execute an agreement to pay therefor or otherwise supply insurance
or credit information promptly after the services are rendered.”

15


the breach of the law, for any injury done to any person resulting from that breach,
and generally and specifically for the reformation and rehabilitation of the
probationer . . . .” (§ 1203.1, subd. (j).) Under the particular circumstances of this
case, the injury done to Milligan by defendant‟s breach was redressed by
fashioning a restitution order in which payment for medical expenses was made
directly to the hospital. This was not a circumstance in which a restitution award
was being diverted from the victim to satisfy a requested third party claim. (See
Slattery, supra, 167 Cal.App.4th at p. 1097.)9
As a result of the order, the family would not be further burdened by having
to open or leave open probate of Milligan‟s estate to accommodate payment of the
restitution award.10 The court‟s order also assured that amends be made to society
for the criminal violation because the hospital would be paid for the care it was
required by law to provide. Thus, the order was “fitting and proper to the end that
justice may be done.” (§ 1203.1, subd. (j).) Finally, restitution of the deceased
victim‟s hospital expenses, paid directly to the hospital, renders defendant
accountable for the financial harm he caused and contributes to his reformation
and rehabilitation.
We emphasize that our holding here is a narrow one. Based on the record
in this case, the trial court‟s order of direct payment to the hospital was not

9
Nothing in the record indicates the hospital made an independent claim for
restitution. The probation report indicates the victim‟s mother provided the
documentation for the hospital expenses.
10
The court placed defendant on formal probation for five years so that,
among other reasons, defendant would have sufficient time to pay restitution. The
court noted “the substantial sums being ordered paid” and stated that “the longest
period of probation supervision would thereby enhance or maximize [defendant‟s]
opportunity to make victim restitution as ordered over the period of the
probationary grant.”

16


arbitrary, capricious, or beyond the bounds of reason. Accordingly, the court did
not abuse its discretion under section 1203.1.
DISPOSITION
The judgment of the Court of Appeal is affirmed.
CORRIGAN, J.

WE CONCUR:
GEORGE, C. J.
KENNARD, J.
BAXTER, J.
WERDEGAR, J.
CHIN, J.
MORENO, J.

17



See next page for addresses and telephone numbers for counsel who argued in Supreme Court.

Name of Opinion People v. Anderson
__________________________________________________________________________________

Unpublished Opinion


Original Appeal
Original Proceeding
Review Granted
XXX 170 Cal.App.4th 910
Rehearing Granted

__________________________________________________________________________________

Opinion No.

S170778
Date Filed: July 22, 2010
__________________________________________________________________________________

Court:

Superior
County: San Diego
Judge: Allan J. Preckel

__________________________________________________________________________________

Attorneys for Appellant:

Stephen M. Hinkle, under appointment by the Supreme Court, for Defendant and Appellant.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Attorneys for Respondent:

Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Attorney General, Dane R. Gillette, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Gary W.
Schons, Assistant Attorney General, Jeffrey J. Koch, Ivy B. Fitzpatrick, James D. Dutton, Melissa Mandel
and Charles C. Ragland, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.



Counsel who argued in Supreme Court (not intended for publication with opinion):

Stephen M. Hinkle
3529 Cannon Road, Suite 2B-311
Oceanside, CA 92056
(760) 295-1541

Charles C. Ragland
Deputy Attorney General
110 West A Street, Suite 1100
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 645-2211


Petition for review after the Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment of conviction of a criminal offense. The court limited review to the following issue: Did the trial court err in awarding restitution to the hospital that treated the victim of defendants conduct hit-and-run offense?

Opinion Information
Date:Citation:Docket Number:Category:Status:
Thu, 07/22/201050 Cal. 4th 19, 235 P.3d 11, 112 Cal. Rptr. 3d 685S170778Review - Criminal Appealsubmitted/opinion due

Parties
1The People (Plaintiff and Respondent)
Represented by Charles Christopher Ragland
Office of the Attorney General
110 W. "A" Street, Suite 1100
San Diego, CA

2The People (Plaintiff and Respondent)
Represented by Melissa A. Mandel
Office of the Attorney General
P.O. Box 85266
San Diego, CA

3Anderson, Eli Jordan (Defendant and Appellant)
6055 Winfield Ave.
La Mesa, CA 91942

Represented by Stephen Merritt Hinkle
Attorney at Law
3529 Cannon Road, Suite 2B-311
Oceanside, CA


Opinion Authors
OpinionJustice Carol A. Corrigan

Dockets
Feb 26 2009Received premature petition for review
  Eli Jordan Anderson, Appellant Stephen M. Hinkle, Attorney
Mar 2 2009Case start: Petition for review filed
  Eli J. Anderson, Appellant Stephen M. Hinkle, Attorney
Mar 2 2009Record requested
 
Mar 3 2009Received Court of Appeal record
  two doghouses ( volume 1 & 2 )
Apr 29 2009Petition for review granted; issues limited
  The petition for review is granted. The issue to be briefed and argued is limited to the following: Did the trial court err in awarding restitution to the hospital that treated the victim of defendants conduct hit-and-run offense? Votes: George, C.J., Baxter, Werdegar, Moreno, and Corrigan, JJ.
May 1 2009Order filed
  The order filed on April 29, 2009, is amended to read, in its entirety; "The petition for review is granted. The issue to be briefed and argued is limited to the following: Did the trial court err in awarding restitution to the hospital that treated the victim of the defendant's hit-and-run offense?"
May 26 2009Counsel appointment order filed
  Upon request of appellant for appointment of counsel, Stephen M. Hinkle is hereby appointed to represent appellant on the appeal now pending in this court. Appellant's brief on the merits must be served and filed on or before thirty (30) days from the date of this order.
Jun 18 2009Opening brief on the merits filed
Defendant and Appellant: Anderson, Eli JordanAttorney: Stephen Merritt Hinkle   Eli J. Anderson, appellant by Stephen M. Hinkle, counsel
Jun 25 2009Compensation awarded counsel
  Atty Hinkle
Jul 8 2009Request for extension of time filed
  Application and declaration of good cause for extension of time until August 17, 2009 to file respondent's answer brief on the merits. by Melissa Mandel, Deputy Attorney General
Aug 14 2009Answer brief on the merits filed
Plaintiff and Respondent: The PeopleAttorney: Melissa A. Mandel   The People, respondent by Melissa Mandel, Seputy Attorney General
Sep 1 2009Reply brief filed (case fully briefed)
Defendant and Appellant: Anderson, Eli JordanAttorney: Stephen Merritt Hinkle   Eli J. Anderson, appellant by Stephen M. Hinkle, counsel
Sep 4 2009Received:
  letter from counsel Stephen M. Hinkle on various dates he cannot attend oral argument.
May 5 2010Case ordered on calendar
  to be argued Wednesday, May 26, 2010, at 9:00 a.m., in San Francisco
May 13 2010Stipulation filed
  Stipulation by counsel Charles C. Ragland, that respondent has no objection to Justice Kennard's participation in the deliberations and decision in this matter notwithstanding her absence from oral argument.
May 17 2010Stipulation filed
  Stipulation by counsel Stephen Hinkle, that appellant has no objection to Justice Kennard's participation in the deliberations and decision in this matter notwithstanding her absence from oral argument.
May 26 2010Stipulation filed
  Stipulation by counsel Charles C. Ragland, that respondent has no objection to Justice Corrigan's participation in the deliberations and decision in this matter notwithstanding her absence from oral argument.
May 26 2010Stipulation filed
  Stipulation by counsel Stephen Hinkle, that appellant has no objection to Justice Corrigan's participation in the deliberations and decision in this matter notwithstanding her absence from oral argument.
May 26 2010Cause argued and submitted
 
Jul 21 2010Notice of forthcoming opinion posted
  To be filed on Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 10 a.m.

Briefs
Jun 18 2009Opening brief on the merits filed
Defendant and Appellant: Anderson, Eli JordanAttorney: Stephen Merritt Hinkle  
Aug 14 2009Answer brief on the merits filed
Plaintiff and Respondent: The PeopleAttorney: Melissa A. Mandel  
Sep 1 2009Reply brief filed (case fully briefed)
Defendant and Appellant: Anderson, Eli JordanAttorney: Stephen Merritt Hinkle  
Brief Downloads
application/pdf icon
appellant-opening-brief-on-the-merits.pdf (144621 bytes)
application/pdf icon
appellant-petition-for-review.pdf (478573 bytes)
application/pdf icon
appellant-reply-brief-on-the-merits.pdf (81043 bytes)
application/pdf icon
respondent-answer-brief-on-the-merits.pdf (230020 bytes)
If you'd like to submit a brief document to be included for this opinion, please submit an e-mail to the SCOCAL website
Nov 29, 2010
Annotated by dravi

FACTS:
While Eli Jordan Anderson (defendant) was driving on the highway, he felt his car impact something, and his windshield shattered. Thinking that someone had thrown a rock at his windshield, defendant pulled into a parking lot to examine the damage to his car, and realized he had hit either an animal or a person. Defendant drove his car along the highway, but did not see what his car had hit. Another passing driver saw the victim, Milligan, lying in the highway, and summoned help. Milligan died at the hospital.

Meanwhile, defendant returned to the scene of the accident, and learned from a policeman that a human had been struck. He found blood on his car. The next day, police learned defendant’s identity from an anonymous source.

The evidence against defendant showed that the primary collision factor was Milligan’s jaywalking.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
Defendant’s first trial resulted in a hung jury. His second trial produced a criminal conviction under California Vehicle Code §§ 20001(a), 20003 and 20004, which together state: “The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person…shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident…and give his or her name, current residence address…driver also shall render to any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance…”

Milligan’s mother requested that the court order defendant to pay Milligan’s medical expenses, since Mrs. Milligan had been harassed for payment of these bills. Milligan’s medical expenses included (1) out-of-pocket expenses incurred by Milligan’s family, and (2) hospital expenses for statutorily required emergency care that the hospital would have to absorb if a third party did not pay the bill.

At sentencing, the court sentenced defendant to one year in county jail, and placed defendant on five years formal probation. Probation was conditioned upon defendant’s restitution payment (1) directly to the hospital that treated Milligan, and (2) to Milligan’s family members.

Defendant appealed the restitution order, arguing that the order of restitution to both the hospital and family should be stricken. Defendant argued that Milligan was the cause of his own injuries, and therefore that defendant’s criminal conduct in leaving the scene of the accident did not “cause” Milligan’s medical expenses. Defendant also argued that the restitution order was improper under California Penal Code § 1203.1. The Court of Appeals upheld the restitution order under § 1203.1. Defendant appealed the restitution order to the hospital only to the California Supreme Court.

ISSUE:
Was the restitution order of direct payment to the hospital, as a condition of felony probation, statutorily unauthorized under Penal Code § 1203.1?

HOLDING:
Penal Code § 1203.1 authorizes a court to issue an order to pay restitution directly to the hospital that treated the defendant’s victim, as a condition of probation. Under the particular circumstances of this case, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in requiring this restitution order as a condition of probation.

ANALYSIS: (Corrigan, J)
Penal Code § 1203.1 gives trial courts broad discretion to impose probation conditions that foster rehabilitation and protect public safety. Restitution is one probation condition that achieves these goals by compensating victims and society for the harm caused by the crime. In People v. Carbajal, the California Supreme Court established that restitution may be ordered “as a condition of probation even when the loss was not necessarily caused by the criminal conduct underlying the conviction.” Thus, restitution orders do not necessarily need to directly compensate the victims of crime in order to achieve their ultimate goals.

In contrast to § 1203.1, Penal Code § 1202.4 grants narrower statutory authority to trial courts to order restitution directly to victims of crimes. The term “victim” as defined in § 1202.4(k) and by People v. Birkett includes “entities that are the immediate objects of the probationer’s offenses.” § 1202.4 expressly states that nothing in that section should be construed to limit the authority of the court to provide conditions of probation; that is, notwithstanding the limitations § 1202.4 places on restitution, the broad discretion of trial courts to create probation conditions under § 1203.1 remains in place.

Defendant argued that § 1202.4 limits the authority of trial courts under § 1203.1, to the extent that, when imposing restitution as a condition of probation, restitution may only be required for direct victims of the crime. To support this argument, defendant relied on the fact that § 1203.1(a)(3) does provide that “the restitution order shall be fully enforceable forthwith and in accordance with Section 1202.4” to support his contention. However, the court found that defendant’s reading that § 1202.4 limits trial courts’ authority under § 1203.1 was overbroad. The use of the term “forthwith” in § 1203.1(a)(3) shows that the subsection merely intends that restitution orders shall be immediately enforceable, but the addition of subsection (a)(3) to § 1203.1 did not limit the trial court’s broad authority under § 1203.1 to impose probation conditions. The court concluded that the legislative history of both Penal Code sections confirmed this statutory interpretation.

Since the court’s narrow authority under § 1202.4 to grant restitution to direct victims does not limit its broader authority under § 1203.1 to impose restitution as a condition of probation, the restrictions of § 1202.4 are not incorporated into § 1203.1. Thus, the definition of “victim” in § 1202.4(k) is not incorporated into § 1203.1. Therefore, the court found defendant’s reliance on People v. Slattery to be inapposite. In Slattery, the court determined that restitution to the hospital was inappropriate under § 1202.4, since the hospital was not a “direct victim” of the crime. However, the court’s restitution order against Anderson was passed not under § 1202.4, but under § 1203.1, which grants trial courts much broader discretion to shape restitution orders.

Since the court had authority to pass this restitution order as a condition of probation under § 1203.1, the court’s restitution order must be upheld unless the restitution order was arbitrary or capricious, or otherwise exceeded the bounds of reason. Here, the restitution order is reasonable because it (1) serves the goal of unburdening Milligan’s family of the requests to pay the hospital bills, (2) makes amends to society for burdening the hospital for the care it was required by law to provide to Milligan, and (3) helps rehabilitate Anderson by holding him accountable for the harm he caused.

TAGS:
Criminal, hit-and-run, hospital, California Penal Code, probation, trial court discretion, probation conditions, rehabilitation, restitution, statutory interpretation, victim, medical expenses, criminal conduct, Penal Code § 1203.1, Penal Code § 1202.4, California Vehicle Code, punishment, emergency hospital care, hospital bills

KEY RELATED/CITED CASES AND STATUTES:
California Penal Code § 1203.1

California Penal Code § 1202.4

California Vehicle Code §§ 20001a, sections 20003 and 20004

People v. Carbajal, 899 P.2d 67 (Cal. 1995).

People v. Slattery, 167 Cal.App.4th 1091 (Ct. App. 2008).

People v. Birkett, 980 P.2d 912 (Cal. 1999).

OTHER CITED CASES:
In re Sheena K., 153 P.3d 282 (Cal. 2007).

People v. Scott, 885 P.2d 1040 (Cal. 1994).

People v. Miller, 256 Cal.App.2d 348 (Ct. App. 1967).

People v. Goulart, 224 Cal.App.3d 71 (Ct. App. 1990).

People v. Lent, 541 P.2d 545 (Cal. 1975).

In re Brian S., 130 Cal.App.3d 523 (Ct. App. 1982).

People v. Martinez, 115 P.3d 62 (Cal. 2005).

Fitch v. Select Products Co., 115 P.3d 1233 (Cal. 2005).

People v. Braxton, 101 P.3d 994 (Cal. 2004).

People v. Hudson, 136 P.3d 168 (Cal. 2006).

People v. Olguin, 45 Cal.4th 375 (2008).

People v. Rodriguez, 795 P.2d 783 (Cal. 1990).

People v. Rubics, 136 Cal.App.4th 452 (Ct. App. 2006).

Annotation by: Deepika Ravi