As a result of the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act of 1996, all payments for special assessment, fines and restitution are receipted by the U.S. District Court clerk's office. The applicable interest rates, penalties, etc. are based on the offense date and the applicable statute in effect. Payments in the form of cash, cashier check or money orders should be mailed to the Clerk's Office or presented in person to the cashier at the District Court clerk's office. Checks should be payable to Clerk, U.S. District Court.
Special assessment, fine and restitution when imposed are ordered on the JCC (Judgment in a Criminal Case) at sentencing. All monetary penalties are recorded by the clerk's office as documented in the JCC.
Application of Payments
Generally, payments are applied to outstanding debts in the following order:
- special assessment;
- restitution principal for subsequent payment to victims other than the US;
- restitution interest for subsequent payment to victims other than the US;
- restitution principal for payment to the US agency named in the criminal judgment order;
- restitution interest for payment to the US agency named in the criminal judgment order;
- fine principal;
- fine interest;
- community interest;
- penalties for nonpayment of criminal debt; and
- costs of prosecution.
The U.S. Attorney's office sends a statement with payment coupons to the defendant(s) on a monthly basis.
The U.S. Attorney is responsible for collection and enforcement of special assessments, fine and restitution ordered by the court. The Financial Litigation Unit of the U.S. Attorney's office monitors the status of payments and will take action as appropriate.
Restitution Payments to Victims
Victims are generally contacted by the U.S. Attorney's office after sentencing and informed of any restitution that has been ordered. They are advised on the process and what they should expect to receive. All moneys received from the defendant for restitution are paid to the victim(s) according to the JCC. There is a standard waiting period of at least two weeks to assure that all payments have cleared through the Federal Reserve before the payment to the victims are processed. Payments are normally paid proportionally to each victim unless specified in the JCC.
Case by Case Situations
The information presented on Fines and Restitution Payments is general information that applies to all cases. However, deviations may be allowed on a case by case basis. The judge may specify that additional requirements are waived for certain items if warranted in a particular case. You may wish to verify detailed information regarding your case with the court.