Monetary Recoveries for State Crime Victims
Parness, Jeffrey A.
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Crime victim recoveries are typically available in American states through three separate, but related, avenues: a criminal proceeding (with or without a formal charge); a related civil claim (including a pre-suit settlement); and, a related administrative or special court proceeding. Multiple avenues can be pursued simultaneously. These avenues often, but not always, have constitutional as well as statutory foundations. Unfortunately state crime victims often go without recovery. Barriers to recovery include intrastate and interstate confusion over terms like restitution and victim. More can be done for victims, especially during criminal case sentencing. Unlike federal district courts, state criminal courts typically have general jurisdictional authority allowing broader opportunities for crime victim recoveries at the close of criminal cases. Better crime victim recovery procedures are especially warranted where there are explicit state constitutional law interests.