People v. Roddy

Decision Date08 November 2021
Docket Number20SC491
Citation2021 CO 74
PartiesThe People of the State of Colorado, Petitioner v. Jonathan D. Roddy, Respondent
CourtColorado Supreme Court

Certiorari to the Colorado Court of Appeals Court of Appeals Case No. 17CA2267

Attorneys for Petitioner:

Philip J. Weiser, Attorney General

Frank R. Lawson, Assistant Attorney General

Denver, Colorado

Attorneys for Respondent:

Haddon, Morgan & Foreman, P.C.

Adam Mueller

Jeffrey S. Pagliuca

Denver, Colorado

JUSTICE BERKENKOTTER does not participate.

OPINION

HOOD JUSTICE.

¶1 Defendant, Jonathan Roddy, and his ex-wife have been embroiled in post- decree domestic-relations litigation for more than a decade. While that history is long and complex, the legal questions presented in this related criminal case are relatively straightforward. In exchange for dismissal of the original criminal charges, Roddy pled guilty to first degree criminal trespass, a crime that he committed in his ex-wife's home. He received a deferred judgment and sentence, and the court ordered him to pay restitution to his ex-wife as the victim.

¶2 Roddy contends that the district court erred when it (1) entered the restitution order beyond the ninety-one-day time limit prescribed by statute and (2) included losses proximately caused by conduct related to the dismissed charges as well as the charge to which he pled guilty.

¶3 A division of the court of appeals affirmed the district court's decision to enter the order after the ninety-one-day limit had expired. People v. Roddy, 2020 COA 72, ¶ 29, 490 P.3d 755, 760. But the division also limited restitution to only "the losses caused by the conduct to which [Roddy] pleaded guilty." Id. at ¶ 37, 490 P.3d at 761-62.

¶4 Applying our holding in People v. Weeks, 2021 CO 75, ___ P.3d ___, which we also announce today, we conclude that the statutory ninety-one-day deadline applies to a trial court's order regarding the restitution amount. Here, the district court exceeded that ninety-one-day period. So, its order was untimely.

¶5 The restitution statute, however, also permits a trial court to extend the deadline for good cause. Here, the district court made a good-cause finding albeit well after the ninety-one-day window had closed. Because the efficacy of the district court's belated good-cause finding is not before us, we remand the case to the court of appeals on that issue for application of Weeks. If that finding is deemed adequate on remand, the district court will need to address the permissible scope of restitution. Therefore, we also hold that, absent an agreement between the defendant and the prosecution at the time the plea is entered, a court may not impose restitution for pecuniary losses proximately caused by conduct exclusively related to dismissed charges.

I. Facts and Procedural History

¶6 Roddy and the victim have been divorced since 2003. They have one child, J.R., together and have been engaged in post-decree domestic-relations litigation regarding parenting time, child support, and parental decision-making authority since 2009.

¶7 This case presents a separate but related criminal matter. Roddy entered the victim's home one day while she was away. He did so without her permission, arguably in violation of an existing court order regarding curbside exchange of J.R., and he took photographs that he sought to exploit in the domestic-relations case.

¶8 Using J.R.'s iPad, Roddy's current wife also accessed seven years of the victim's private files, including correspondence with the victim's attorneys, accountants, family, and friends. Roddy and his wife also intended to use some of this pilfered information against the victim in the domestic-relations case.

¶9 Roddy was initially charged with stalking and a computer crime.[1] As part of a plea agreement, Roddy pled guilty to an added count of first degree criminal trespass in exchange for dismissal of the original charges and a two-year deferred judgment and sentence. The written plea agreement was silent as to restitution; however, the joint motion for deferred judgment, which Roddy signed, provided:

The defendant agrees that he has a sufficient amount of income and/or assets to pay all of the restitution and fees ordered by the court. The defendant is aware that failure to pay restitution or fees shall constitute prima facie evidence of a violation of the deferred sentence and judgment.

The district court accepted the plea agreement and granted the prosecution's request for ninety-one days to determine restitution.

¶10 Ninety days later, the prosecution filed its motion for restitution, requesting $390, 613.90. This amount was based, in large measure, on the victim's legal fees from two separate firms: one that was handling the domestic-relations case and another that was representing the victim's interests in the criminal case and in parallel civil proceedings.

¶11 Roddy objected and asked the prosecution to identify the factual basis of the request. In response, the prosecution pointed to both Roddy's conduct-entering and photographing the victim's home without permission-and his wife's conduct-using J.R.'s iPad to access the victim's email account, which contained privileged communications and personal contacts-as support for its restitution request.

¶12 The prosecution then outlined three expense categories: (1) investigation of the criminal offense, (2) victim protection, and (3) recovery of the stolen data. It later significantly increased its request based on soaring fees and costs the victim continued to incur, mostly in those same categories.

¶13 On October 20, 2017 (457 days after accepting Roddy's guilty plea and imposing the deferred judgment), the court entered its restitution order. After concluding that the prosecution had shown good cause to amend its restitution request, the court ordered Roddy to pay $688, 535.13.

¶14 Roddy appealed the restitution order. As relevant here, the division concluded that the district court had the authority to enter the order because, even if the ninety-one-day time limit applied to entry of the court's order, the district court impliedly had found good cause to extend its deadline. Roddy, ¶¶ 23-29, 490 P.3d at 760. The division then concluded, however, that the district court erred by including in the restitution order losses not proximately caused by Roddy's trespass onto the victim's property. Id. at ¶¶ 30, 36-37, 490 P.3d at 761-62. So, the division reversed the restitution order and remanded the case to the district court to determine restitution based only on the trespass to which Roddy had pled guilty. Id. at ¶ 37, 490 P.3d at 762.

¶15 The prosecution petitioned this court for certiorari review, which we granted.[2]

II. Analysis

¶16 We begin by addressing whether the ninety-one-day time limit in section 18-1.3-603(1)(b), C.R.S. (2021), applies to the prosecution's determination of proposed restitution or to the court's entry of the restitution order. We then discuss whether a trial court may impose restitution for pecuniary losses proximately caused by conduct exclusively related to dismissed charges.

A. Timeliness

¶17 We review de novo the division's interpretation of section 18-1.3-603. See Cowen v. People, 2018 CO 96, ¶ 11, 431 P.3d 215, 218. In interpreting statutes, our primary goal is to ascertain and give effect to legislative intent. Id. at ¶ 12, 431 P.3d at 218. We begin with the plain language of the statute, reading the statute as a whole and giving words and phrases their commonly understood meanings. People v. Sosa, 2019 COA 182, ¶¶ 12-13, 487 P.3d 1203, 1206. If the language is clear and unambiguous, we apply it as written. Cowen, ¶ 12, 431 P.3d at 218. If, however, the language is susceptible of more than one reasonable interpretation, it is ambiguous, and we may turn to extrinsic aids to guide our interpretation. Id. ¶18 Section 18-1.3-603(1) provides that "[e]very order of conviction, "[3] with one exception not relevant here, "shall include consideration of restitution"; meaning, the order must include at least one of the following:

(a) An order of a specific amount of restitution be paid by the defendant;
(b) An order that the defendant is obligated to pay restitution, but that the specific amount of restitution shall be determined within the ninety-one days immediately following the order of conviction, unless good cause is shown for extending the time period by which the restitution amount shall be determined;
(c) An order, in addition to or in place of a specific amount of restitution, that the defendant pay restitution covering the actual costs of specific future treatment of any victim of the crime; or
(d) Contain a specific finding that no victim of the crime suffered a pecuniary loss and therefore no order for the payment of restitution is being entered.

Subsection (1)(b), the ninety-one-day time limit, is at issue here.

¶19 In Weeks, we conclude "that the deadline in subsection (1)(b) refers to the court's determination of the restitution amount the defendant must pay, not to the prosecution's determination of the proposed amount of restitution." ¶ 5; see also Meza v. People, 2018 CO 23, ¶ 18, 415 P.3d 303, 309. Thus, here, the district court was obligated to determine restitution within ninety-one days of sentencing unless, before those ninety-one days expired, it expressly found good cause for extending the deadline. See Weeks, ¶ 5.

¶20 At Roddy's dispositional hearing, he pled guilty to the trespass charge, and the district court reserved ninety-one days to determine restitution pursuant to section 18-1.3-603(1)(b). The prosecution filed its initial restitution request ninety days later. Roddy objected. The court held several hearings to resolve...

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6 cases
  • Stackpool v. Colo. Dep't of Revenue
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals
    • December 16, 2021
    ... ... cases addressing this exception to the mootness doctrine differ in their interpretation of the meaning of "capable of repetition." See People in Interest of Vivekanathan , 2013 COA 143M, 25-28, 338 P.3d 1017, 1022 (Hawthorne, J., dissenting). Some cases hold that an issue is capable of ... 63 The primary goal in interpreting statutes is to "give effect to legislative intent." People v. Roddy , 2021 CO 74, 17, 498 P.3d 136. "We begin with the plain language of the statute, reading [it] as a whole and giving words and phrases their ... ...
  • People v. Rodriguez-Morelos
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals
    • September 15, 2022
    ... ... People , 2018 CO 96, 2, 431 P.3d 215, for uncharged conduct, see People v. Sosa , 2019 COA 182, 1, 487 P.3d 1203, or for dismissed charges, see People v. Roddy , 2021 CO 74, 5, 498 P.3d 136. He next points to the bill of particulars, in which the prosecution identified certain classes taken by specified victims as "thefts." Then, he combines the general legal prohibitions with the bill of particulars, characterizing the court's restitution order for ... ...
  • People v. Moss
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals
    • August 11, 2022
    ... ... 8 To the extent Moss challenges the court's authority to order restitution for uncharged conduct, we review that claim de novo. People v. Roddy , 2021 CO 74, 23, 498 P.3d 136. 9 As to Moss's sufficiency of the evidence challenge, both parties assert that our review is de novo, relying on People v. Barbre , 2018 COA 123, 25, 429 P.3d 95. (Moss actually cites People v. Rice , 2020 COA 143, 22, 478 P.3d 1276, overruled on other grounds by ... ...
  • People v. Johnson
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • December 13, 2021
    ... ... Id. at 578.21 While the Daly division's analysis is certainly reasonable (particularly in emphasizing legislative changes to better address the rights of victims), it fails to comport with more recent decisions of this court. For example, earlier this year, in People v. Roddy, 2021 CO 74, 26, 498 P.3d 136, we observed that the legislature has confined restitution to a defendant's criminal conduct that has resulted in a conviction, such that the defendant 499 P.3d 1049 is deemed an "offender" in the parlance of the statute. Therefore, "absent an agreement between the ... ...
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1 books & journal articles
  • Summaries of Published Opinions
    • United States
    • Colorado Bar Association Colorado Lawyer No. 51-1, January 2022
    • Invalid date
    ...plan with the Colorado Secretary of State no later than December 15, 2021, as required by Colo. Const, art. V, § 44.5(5). November 8, 2021 2021 CO 74. No. 20SC491. People v. Roddy. Restitution—Statutory Interpretation—Procedural Deadlines—Plea Agreements. In this case, the Supreme Court add......

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