Friday, May 26, 2017

Damages Defendant Received for Prison Mistreatment Can Be Taken for Restitution

U.S. v. Simpson-El, 2017 WL 2125891 (5/17/17) (Kan.) (published) - The 10th affirms the district court taking for a restitution payment most of Mr. Simpson-El's money he received as damages for prison mistreatment. The district court had ordered Mr. Simpson-El to pay over $400,000 in restitution at the rate of 5% of his gross monthly income. While imprisoned he was injured and then received inadequate medical care. He received a $200,000 settlement. The district court took over $145,00 for restitution. Mr. Simpson-El contended that was wrong because there was no material change in economic circumstances as required by 18 U.S.C. ยง 3664(k) to justify a restitution change. He argued the settlement was for the loss of future income, i.e., income that was the basis for the original restitution order. The 10th does not buy that. First, it says the settlement could have been at least in part for lost quality of life. Damages for that would be fair game, the 10th indicates. Second, with the use of charts [Judge Bacjarach's thing], the 10th illustrates that, even if the damages were for loss of future income, Mr. Simpson-El's economic circumstances changed because he got money sooner than he would have if his earning potential would only have been realized in the future. This seems like it might ignore the fact that the settlement probably reflected a discounted value of the future income lost. The 10th assures us its holding does not mean every personal injury settlement would allow for quicker restitution payments.