Do I have to provide proof of payments to continue receiving restitution?
My son was attacked at school from behind by another student. He suffered a very bad concussion and doctor bills totaling $3000. I filed bankruptcy which included the doctor bills. After my bankruptcy case the victim was ordered to pay restitution.
Basically, that is all that happened to her child - he had to pay the restitution and it would basically go away for them. I accepted the first payments and deposited them into my bank account. I am assuming she tracked the money orders which I just deposited into my account. She then refused to pay the rest of the restitution until I provided proof that I was paying the bills.
Her son now has to go in front of a judge to re-hear the case because she did not comply with the full restitution. I just received a subpoena from her lawyer asking for payment history.
Can they do that? Do I have to provide a payment history? My son is the victim and she is required to pay the total amount of restitution. Should I obtain a lawyer to speak on my behalf? Thank you for any perspective you can give on this situation.
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ANSWER for "Do I have to provide proof of payments to continue receiving restitution?":
Shannon (Charlottesville, Virginia):
If the Bankruptcy Judge ordered restitution be paid to you on your son's behalf by the parent of the child who assaulted your son, and the judge ordered that the restitution paid must be used exclusively to pay your son's medical bills, then you have no choice but to comply with the Court's (Judge's) Order. Failure to do so subjects you to contempt of court.
A subpoena issued by an attorney is tantamount to a court order. Failure to comply with the subpoena can subject you to court sanctions. Therefore, you must comply with the requirements of the subpoena issued by the attorney to you, including making available your payment history, if requested in the subpoena.
It is likely you were issued a subpoena duces tecum. In most cases, a subpoena is an order for a person to appear at a court hearing, or a deposition. A subpoena duces tecum is similar, except it may also require a person to bring or make available records related to the case, including hard copies of bank statements, emails, and the like.
You can learn more about a State of Virginia Subpoena by going to Section 16.1-89 of the State of Virginia Code.
You also have the right as a party to the legal action to issue your own subpoena to the boy's parent for records you believe relevant to your case. For example, you might want to review copies of the parent's bank records relating specifically to payments made to you. You can find the form for a Virginia Subpoena here.
With that said, if the bankruptcy judge ordered the boy's parent to make restitution payments directly to you, or through the court, the parent's failure to comply with the court order can subject her to court sanctions.
Because the entire matter in controversy is no more than $3,000.00, you may have difficulty finding an attorney to represent you. If you do find an attorney, his or her legal fees will likely be equal to or greater than the amount of $3,000.00.
For more information about how to choose an attorney, go here.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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