Certiorari to the Utah Court of Appeals
District, West Jordan The Honorable Charlene Barlow No.
District, Salt Lake The Honorable Ann Boyden No. 131902981
D. Reyes, Att'y Gen., Tera J. Peterson, Asst. Solic.
Gen., Salt Lake City, for respondent.
Nathalie S. Skibine, Debra M. Nelson, Heather J. Chesnut,
Lacey C. Singleton, Salt Lake City, for petitioners.
Justice Himonas authored the opinion of the Court, in which
Chief Justice Durrant, Associate Chief Justice Lee, Justice
Durham, and Judge Davis joined.
recused himself, JUSTICE PEARCE did not participate herein;
DISTRICT JUDGE LYNN DAVIS sat.
1 We address two underlying cases in this appeal, both of
which turn on the same issue: whether an order of complete
restitution that is part of a plea in abeyance is a final
order appealable as of right. The Utah Court of Appeals
determined in the first case, State v. Mooers, 2015
UT App 266, 362 P.3d 282, that it is not. In the second case,
State v. Becker, 2015 UT App 304, 365 P.3d 173,
another panel of the court of appeals held that it was bound
by the Mooers panel's holding. Each panel
dismissed its case for lack of jurisdiction, and we
consolidated the cases for appeal. We hold that an order of
complete restitution is a final order for purposes of appeal
and therefore reverse the decisions of the court of appeals.
2 The first case involves a restitution order for Ryan
Mooers. On April 15, 2013, Mr. Mooers entered a plea in
abeyance to third-degree felony theft, a condition of which
was the payment of restitution. Thereafter, the State
requested that Mr. Mooers pay $5, 760.50 in restitution, of
which $4, 660.50 represented the cost of the items stolen,
window repair, and carpet replacement. The victims of the
theft stated that their daughter had trouble feeling safe in
her room, which had been broken into, so the restitution
amount included $1, 100 for bars to place over her basement
window. Mr. Mooers objected to the inclusion of the cost of
the window bars, but the district court found that the cost
was part of the pecuniary damages stemming from the theft
and, in a ruling dated February 12, 2014, ordered the $1, 100
to be included in the restitution order. Thirteen days later,
Mr. Mooers filed a notice of appeal. After briefing and
argument, the court of appeals held that because the
restitution order was part of a plea in abeyance, it was not
a final order and the court therefore had no jurisdiction to
hear the appeal. State v. Mooers, 2015 UT App 266,
¶¶ 1, 19, 362 P.3d 282.
3 The second case involves Darron Laven Becker's plea in
abeyance for attempted aggravated assault after he attempted
to hit his neighbor with a shovel. Following the entry of Mr.
Becker's plea, the State requested $663.01 in restitution
for medical costs that the Utah Office for Victims of Crime
paid the neighbor. Mr. Becker objected to the basis for the
amount, noting that the only documentation for the amount was
a handwritten note from the neighbor requesting $624 for
replacement glasses, $39 for an eye exam, and $480 for lost
wages. The district court determined that a sufficient nexus
between Mr. Becker's actions and the neighbor's
requested restitution existed and, on December 9, 2013,
ordered Mr. Becker to pay $663.01. Mr. Becker appealed the
district court's order on December 17, 2013. The court of
appeals dismissed Mr. Becker's appeal for lack of
jurisdiction upon determining that it was bound by the
Mooers panel's decision. State v.
Becker, 2015 UT App 304, ¶¶ 7-9, 365 P.3d 173.
4 We consolidated the cases on appeal and granted certiorari
review under ...