I won a contested restitution hearing before Judge Hanoian on 3/22/12.
My client was originally charged with 3 felonies arising out of a fight with an off-duty SDPD officer. A the preliminary hearing, Judge Einhorn ruled that my client’s punch to the face of the officer was thrown in self-defense as the officer had struck my client in the neck after my client spit in his face. Consequently, he was held to answer on 2 added misdemeanors by virtue of the spitting, misdemeanor assault (count 4) and misdemeanor battery (count 5).
After my client pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to 3 years summary probation, the People requested a restitution hearing, claiming that my client was responsible for restitution to the officer amounting to $50,000-$30,000 for medical and dental expenses, and $20,000 to reimburse the City’s worker’s comp carrier.
Judge Hanoian found that Judge Einhorn’s factual findings at the prelim were binding upon him at the restitution hearing, and rejected the People’s condition that my client was responsible for restitution since the spitting was the legal and proximate cause of the injuries and loss of wages.
In ruling the officer was not entitled to any restitution , Judge Hanoian was particularly offended by the officer’s worker’s comp claim , observing that his application was fraudulent as there was no way he was engaged in the performance of his duties at the time.
The officer hasn’t given up yet, though. He’s filed a civil suit against my client alleging my client was the aggressor , notwithstanding Judge Einhorn’s holding to the contrary.
– Mike McCabe