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Restitution — Defenses — Contributory Negligence

State v. Chad J. Knoll, 2000 WI App 135, 237 Wis.2d 384, 614 N.W.2d 20

Issue: Whether contributory negligence is a defense to restitution.

Holding: ¶¶16, 17:

Restitution is not a claim that is owned by an individual but a remedy of the State…. To allow a defendant who has already been convicted of a crime to focus on the action of a victim to avoid restitution defeats this purpose because it permits him to evade responsibility for his own actions…. Second, bringing the issue of contributory negligence into a restitution proceeding, which by its nature is informal and not a full-blown civil trial, is inconsistent with the nature of the proceedings…. Therefore, we conclude that Knoll may not raise Foust’s contributory negligence as a defense to restitution.


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