Offender paid restitution

Compensation directly from the offender (criminal court)

At the time when the offender is sentenced, the court may order that he or she compensate you.  This compensation can be for injury to your physical or mental well being, or for damage to your property.  The prosecutor may make an application on your behalf if you choose to seek compensation at this stage, direct from the offender.  However, it is up to the court whether or not to make an order for compensation.

The court needs to know all the details of the injuries, and of any loss or damage caused by the offender.  The police will usually pass these on to the court.  However, if you are attending court, bring the details with you.  You may need to discuss them with the prosecutor.

If the court does order compensation, you will be told by the court how the offender will pay the compensation as the terms of payment may vary from case to case (for example, it may be paid in instalments).  If the offender can’t or won’t pay, the court may take action.  If the offender is not able to pay, the court may order the offender to perform community service instead of paying compensation to you.

You must not try to contact the offender about payments.  If you have any questions to ask, you must contact the court in which the offender was sentenced.  (Details can be found in the White Pages of the phone book under “Courts [State]”.)

You will probably not receive compensation by this means unless the offender has enough income or assets to pay you in accordance with the order.

Suing the offender (civil action)

You may have the right to sue the offender in the civil courts.  This is only worthwhile if the  offender is able to pay compensation and legal fees.  If you wish to take this action, you should see a lawyer or legal aid.