State v Moores and Becker

Moores and Becker sought review of the Court of Appeals decisions holding they could not appeal the complete restitution ordered as art of their pleas in abeyance. The Court reversed and remanded. It held that under Utah’s criminal restitution statute, Utah Code 77-38a-101 et seq., complete restitution as part of a plea in abeyance is a final order and this appealable because it is a civil order treated like a judgment which can be appealed as of right under the Rules of Appellate Procedure, not allowing appeal could result in the 30 day window running out before sentence is imposed and courts are not required to accept such absurd results and allowing appeal avoids constitutional questions concerning Utah’s right to appeal. The Court held that the appeal should be done within the context of the underlying criminal case. It also noted that court ordered restitution, which takes into account ability to pay among other factors and is not a civil order but a condition of the plea which is not final as there is no sentence and thus appeal is not allowed. The Court left open whether the lack of a statutory right to appeal court ordered restitution is constitutional. It finally remanded the cases for further proceedings as the orders here are for complete restitution as the district courts did not consider the factors relevant to court ordered restitution.