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Restitution – Special Damages – Time Spent by Victim’s Salaried Employee Investigating Offense

State v. William A. Rouse, 2002 WI App 107, PFR filed 5/8/02
For Rouse: Morris D. Berman

Issue/Holding: Time spent by a bank’s salaried employees investigating the crime (forgery) is subject to restitution because,

while the bank’s employees were investigating Rouse’s forgeries, they were prevented from doing other work for the bank, and thus the bank lost all value of their services during that time. We decline to require that victims demonstrate lost profits as this would be overly burdensome and would fail to adequately recognize the value inherent in an employee’s services. The deprivation of an employee’s productivity is a loss in itself that may or may not have an end result of lost profits. Requiring such a showing could deprive entities that do not work for profit any compensation for their lost resources. Further, it is reasonable to compensate an employer for this loss with the amount that it paid the employees during the time they were diverted.

(¶15). (State v. Holmgren, 229 Wis. 2d 358, 599 N.W.2d 876 (Ct. App. 1999) extended.)

The court acknowledges, but doesn’t reach, a potential conflict in case law respecting authority to order, as a condition of probation, restitution not otherwise permitted under § 973.20. ¶16 n. 5.)

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