Arizona Judicial Branch


Dear Citizens:
Chief Justice Scott Bales
The Arizona Supreme Court created the Commission on Victims in the Courts (COVIC) to address victims’ rights issues within our court system. In response to a recommendation from COVIC, I am pleased to provide this website as a public service to those who have been impacted by crime.

Arizona’s Constitution provides victims the right to receive prompt restitution from a person convicted of a crime against them. Judges must order the convicted person to repay all of the victim’s economic loss, as determined by the court. See A.R.S. § 13-603. State law also requires that if an offender is placed on probation, the probation department must notify the court if a probationer becomes delinquent by two or more restitution payments.

Arizona courts and probation departments continually strive to provide the highest level of service to all users of the court system, including crime victims, during their participation in the judicial process.

I hope the information and references provided on this site will help victims exercise their right to restitution.

Scott Bales 
Chief Justice
Arizona Supreme Court

Are you a victim?

Definition of victim.
Read the statutory definition of “victim.”

Are you looking for restitution resources in your county?
Find restitution resources in your county.

Are you looking for national resources?
View links to websites of national resources for victims.

Facts about restitution
Here are some facts on filing restitution liens:

The State or any person entitled to restitution may file a restitution lien. See A.R.S. § 13-806

The restitution that has been ordered must be for individual victims.

A restitution lien can only be filed against interests in personal property, real property, and vehicles within the State of Arizona.

A restitution lien may be filed by a prosecutor in a criminal proceeding in which the victim suffered an economic loss, after the filing of a misdemeanor complaint, felony information, or indictment.

Victims, on the other hand, must wait until after sentencing and issuance of an order of restitution before they can file a restitution lien. 

There are no filing fees on changes for the restitution liens. See A.R.S. § 13-806(A).
Restitution Summary
What is restitution?
Restitution is reimbursement for economic loss, which is defined as “any loss incurred by a person as a result of the commission of an offense.” When a defendant has been convicted of a crime causing economic loss to another person, the court may order that some or all of the fine imposed be allocated for restitution. See A.R.S. § 13-804 for more information.
What if the defendant fails to pay? See A.R.S. § 13-810.
What is a restitution lien?
A restitution lien may be filed by the victim who is entitled to restitution, after restitution is determined and ordered by the court. A restitution lien is executed against interests in personal and real property as follows: For personal property, the lien is filed with the Secretary of State. For motor vehicles, the lien is filed with the Motor Vehicle Division of the Department of Transportation. For real property, the lien is filed with the county recorder of the county in which the real property is located. See A.R.S. § 13-810.
What is a Criminal Restitution Order?

A criminal restitution order establishes that the defendant owes money to each person entitled to restitution for any unpaid balance of the original amount of restitution ordered.  When the defendant completes his or her sentence or probation but still owes restitution, or the defendant absconds from probation or the defendant's sentence, the court shall enter a criminal restitution order.  A criminal restitution order does not expire until paid in full.  See A.R.S. § 13-805.

What if my case was in juvenile court?
In juvenile cases, the court handles restitution matters somewhat differently. After considering the nature of the offense and the age, physical and mental condition, and earning capacity of the child, the court may order the child to make full or partial restitution to the victim of the offense for which the child was adjudicated delinquent. The court may consider a verified statement from the victim concerning damages for lost wages, reasonable damages for injury to or loss of property, and actual expenses of medical treatment for personal injury, excluding pain and suffering. The court may require a delinquent juvenile who has committed theft to pay restitution to the victim for the full value of the property without considering actual out-of-pocket loss due to insurance coverage. The court may require the youth to reimburse the victim in a lump sum or in installment payments through the clerk of the juvenile court. Additionally, the court may require the youth to enter a work program to repair damage to the victim’s property, to provide community service, or to work at a job and apply the wages toward restitution.
Only the court has the authority to order a juvenile to pay restitution to a victim. The court may order the parents of the juvenile to pay restitution to the victim of the offense, up to $10,000. See A.R.S. § 12-661.
If the juvenile has been committed to the State Department of Corrections, the court will send the juvenile’s restitution order to the Department of Corrections. The Department of Corrections should strictly enforce these requirements. See A.R.S. § 8-344 (details on restitution in juvenile cases).
For further information on restitution, please refer to A.R.S. § 13-804 et al.
Please note: This web site is provided as an Informational resource only. The information on this site is not legal advice.