Restitution: General Restitution v. Identity-Theft Restitution
In State v. Rey, 905 N.W.2d 490 (Minn. 2018), the Minnesota Supreme Court held that “the identity-theft statute does not expressly require a district court to consider the amount of economic loss suffered by the victim or the defendant’s ability to pay when ordering restitution.”
Rey argued that the identify-theft restitution statute is unconstitutional because it arbitrarily imposes a minimum restitution amount of $1000 per direct victim. The Court held that the mandatory minimum restitution amount is not arbitrary because the “the damage is hard to discover and measure.” For example, the restitution amount in a car theft is concrete and easy to identify. But identify-theft victims, for example, “may not know the full extent of the damage until they attempt to finance a new purchase or refinance a home mortgage.”
Thus, because the extent of the damage is difficult to quantify and discover the Court held that a minimum amount of restitution is rational.