People v. Turecek, No. 10CA0993.

Docket NºNo. 10CA0993.
Citation2012 COA 59, 280 P.3d 73
Case DateApril 12, 2012
CourtCourt of Appeals of Colorado

280 P.3d 73
2012 COA 59

The PEOPLE of the State of Colorado, Plaintiff–Appellee,
v.
Robert James TURECEK, Jr., Defendant–Appellant.

No. 10CA0993.

Colorado Court of Appeals,
Div.
III.

April 12, 2012.


[280 P.3d 74]


John W. Suthers, Attorney General, Emmy A. Langley, Assistant Attorney General, Denver, Colorado, for Plaintiff–Appellee.

Douglas K. Wilson, Colorado State Public Defender, Mark Evans, Deputy State Public Defender, Denver, Colorado, for Defendant–Appellant.


Opinion by Judge GABRIEL.

¶ 1 Defendant, Robert James Turecek, Jr., appeals the district court's orders concluding that it had statutory authority to determine the question of restitution and imposing restitution on him after he pleaded guilty to fourth degree arson. Because the specific amount of restitution was not determined within the ninety days immediately following the order of conviction, and because the People failed to establish (or even attempt to establish) good cause to extend that time period, we reverse.

I. Background

¶ 2 Turecek was charged with first and fourth degree arson for setting fire to his house. He ultimately pleaded guilty to fourth degree arson, and the parties stipulated in the plea agreement to a sentence of supervised probation and further agreed that restitution and costs of prosecution would be as ordered by the court.

¶ 3 In September 2008, the prosecution filed a notice of restitution that contained, among other things, an estimate of losses sustained by the company that insured Turecek's house (the insurer). In October 2008, the district court conducted a sentencing hearing. At this hearing, the prosecutor stated that he had filed the restitution notice based on what he had received from the insurer and that the amount was the insurer's “estimate.” An unidentified speaker, apparently a representative of the insurer, then informed the court that the insurer had not made a final coverage decision for the claim because it had not had access to Turecek while his criminal case was pending. The

[280 P.3d 75]

speaker stated that he thought the insurer could “easily” get the final figures within ninety days.

¶ 4 In light of the foregoing, the court observed that the notice that it had received appeared “not to be accurate at this point,” because the claim was in “investigation mode.” The court, however, gave the prosecution ninety days to file a notice of restitution, noting that if additional time was required, the prosecution would need to seek an extension, explaining the reasons why an extension was required. The court further stated that it would not “take action on” the notice that had previously been filed, and it specifically stated, “I'm expecting an amended notice of restitution.”

¶ 5 Approximately nine months later, having filed nothing regarding restitution in the interim, the prosecution filed a motion asking the court to rule on the original notice of restitution, notwithstanding the district court's express statements that it did not view the original notice as accurate, would not take action on that notice, and was expecting an amended notice. In this motion, the prosecution did not explain why it had disregarded the court's order to file an amended notice within ninety days or to file a motion for an extension of time if more time were needed. Nor did the prosecution explain its lengthy delay in filing its motion or make any effort to show good cause for the delay.

¶ 6 Notwithstanding the foregoing, the court, acting through a different judge, initially approved the requested amount without a hearing. Turecek, however, objected and requested a hearing. The court set a status conference and noted that it would set a hearing if the parties were unable to reach agreement as to restitution. A series of filings ensued in which the parties argued, among other things, whether the court had the authority (or jurisdiction) to enter a restitution order, notwithstanding the prosecution's untimely filing. Ultimately, the district court found that it “ha[d] not lost jurisdiction over the issue of restitution” and conducted a hearing to determine the proper amount. The court then ordered Turecek to pay $161,815.20 in restitution to the insurer.

¶ 7 Turecek now appeals.

II. Discussion

¶ 8 Turecek contends that the district court erred in ordering restitution because the statutorily imposed ninety-day time limit had passed, and the prosecution had failed to establish good cause for its belated effort to have the court set the amount of restitution. We agree.

¶ 9 Statutory interpretation is a question of law that we review de novo. People v. Jaramillo, 183 P.3d 665, 671 (Colo.App.2008). Our primary purpose in statutory interpretation is to ascertain and give effect to the intent of the General Assembly. Id. We first look to the language of the statute, giving words and phrases their plain and ordinary meaning. Id. We read words and phrases in context and construe them according to their common usage. Id.

¶ 10 In addition, we must interpret a statute in a way that best effectuates the purpose of the legislative scheme. Moffett v. Life Care Centers, 187 P.3d 1140, 1143 (Colo.App.2008), aff'd,219 P.3d 1068 (Colo.2009). When a court construes a statute, it should read and consider the statute as a whole and interpret it in a manner giving consistent, harmonious, and sensible effect to all of its parts. Id. In doing so, a court should not interpret the statute so as to render any part of it either meaningless or absurd. Id. at 1144.

¶ 11 If the statute is...

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18 practice notes
  • People v. Doubleday, No. 08CA2433.
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • August 30, 2012
    ...purpose of the statute, and the consequences of a given interpretation to determine the legislature's intent. People v. Turecek, 2012 COA 59, ¶ 11, 280 P.3d 73.369 P.3d 601A. The Felony Murder Statute ¶ 13 "The felony murder doctrine is designed to heighten penalties where death results dur......
  • People v. Weeks, Supreme Court Case No. 20SC340
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • November 8, 2021
    ...COA 34, 459 P.3d 679 ; People v. Madison, 2018 COA 62, 436 P.3d 544 ; People v. McLain, 2016 COA 74, 411 P.3d 1037 ; People v. Turecek, 2012 COA 59, 280 P.3d 73 ; People v. Rockne, 2012 COA 198, 315 P.3d 172 ; People v. Hill , 296 P.3d 121 (Colo. App. 2011) ; People v. McCann, 122 P.3d 1085......
  • People v. Weeks, 20SC340
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • November 8, 2021
    ...2019 COA 34, 459 P.3d 679; People v. Madison, 2018 COA 62, 436 P.3d 544; People v. McLain, 2016 COA 74, 411 P.3d 1037; People v. Turecek, 2012 COA 59, 280 P.3d 73; People v. Rockne, 2012 COA 198, 315 P.3d 172; People v. Hill, 296 P.3d 121 (Colo.App. 2011); People v. McCann, 122 P.3d 1085 (C......
  • People v. Weeks, Court of Appeals No. 19CA0255
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • March 19, 2020
    ...would be meaningless and trial courts would have no time limit to determine restitution prior to any appeal. See People v. Turecek , 2012 COA 59, ¶ 23, 280 P.3d 73, 77 (holding that the court will not interpret the restitution statute to render its deadlines meaningless). ¶ 19 The ninety-on......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • People v. Doubleday, No. 08CA2433.
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • August 30, 2012
    ...purpose of the statute, and the consequences of a given interpretation to determine the legislature's intent. People v. Turecek, 2012 COA 59, ¶ 11, 280 P.3d 73.369 P.3d 601A. The Felony Murder Statute ¶ 13 "The felony murder doctrine is designed to heighten penalties where death results dur......
  • People v. Weeks, Supreme Court Case No. 20SC340
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • November 8, 2021
    ...COA 34, 459 P.3d 679 ; People v. Madison, 2018 COA 62, 436 P.3d 544 ; People v. McLain, 2016 COA 74, 411 P.3d 1037 ; People v. Turecek, 2012 COA 59, 280 P.3d 73 ; People v. Rockne, 2012 COA 198, 315 P.3d 172 ; People v. Hill , 296 P.3d 121 (Colo. App. 2011) ; People v. McCann, 122 P.3d 1085......
  • People v. Weeks, 20SC340
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • November 8, 2021
    ...2019 COA 34, 459 P.3d 679; People v. Madison, 2018 COA 62, 436 P.3d 544; People v. McLain, 2016 COA 74, 411 P.3d 1037; People v. Turecek, 2012 COA 59, 280 P.3d 73; People v. Rockne, 2012 COA 198, 315 P.3d 172; People v. Hill, 296 P.3d 121 (Colo.App. 2011); People v. McCann, 122 P.3d 1085 (C......
  • People v. Weeks, Court of Appeals No. 19CA0255
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • March 19, 2020
    ...would be meaningless and trial courts would have no time limit to determine restitution prior to any appeal. See People v. Turecek , 2012 COA 59, ¶ 23, 280 P.3d 73, 77 (holding that the court will not interpret the restitution statute to render its deadlines meaningless). ¶ 19 The ninety-on......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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