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Order for restitution doesn’t duplicate civil judgment against defendant

State v. Michael A. Nieman, 2017AP1906-CR, 11/7/29, District 4, (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity (including State’s brief)

Nieman, pro se, appealed an order for over $13,000 in restitution entered after he pled to felony theft by false representation. The court should not have awarded any restitution, he argued. Or, if restitution was permitted, then it should be zero due a civil judgment against him arising from the same conduct.

The court of appeals declined to address most of Nieman’s arguments as undeveloped or forfeited. He appears to have argued that he did not know that pleading guilty would require him to pay restitution. His brief isn’t available online, so we don’t know exactly how he framed it.  And the court of appeals refused to develop the argument for him per State v. Gulrud, 140 Wis. 2d 721, 730, 412 N.W.2d 139 (Ct. App. 1987).

The court of appeals also held that the circuit court properly ordered restitution because it could be set off against a like amount paid to the victim in the companion civil case. See §973.20(8) and Olson v. Kaprelian, 202 Wis. 2d 377, 383, 550 N.W.2d 712 (Ct. App. 1996). Furthermore, the circuit court explained the mechanism by which Nieman could obtain the offset. Opinion, ¶9.



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