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People in the Interest of B.H.

2021 COA 86. No. 19CA2273. Juvenile—Restitution—Prejudgment Interest.

June 24, 2021

B.H. pleaded guilty to several offenses in connection with property losses he caused while committing a string of burglaries and other crimes. The plea agreement required B.H. to pay restitution related to each original charge but was silent as to the accrual of interest on the restitution amount. The district court entered an order for full restitution for the property damage to include prejudgment interest from the offense date until the restitution award.

On appeal, B.H. argued that the court erred in awarding prejudgment interest as part of the restitution award. When a criminal defendant damages or steals property, prejudgment interest begins to accrue under CRS § 18-1.3-603 on the date on which the victim first incurs out-of-pocket expenses arising from that property damage. Here, the district court did not determine if or when each victim incurred repair or replacement costs; instead, it directed B.H. to pay prejudgment interest from the time of loss. Because the time of loss is not necessarily the same as the time at which repair or replacement costs are incurred, this was not an appropriate measure of when prejudgment interest should have begun to accrue. Accordingly, the court erred.

The order was reversed and the case was remanded with instructions.

Official Colorado Court of Appeals proceedings can be found at the Colorado Court of Appeals website.

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