How do I find out how much court-ordered debt I owe?

Since there are typically three types of debt: restitution, court fines and penalties, and court administrative fees, to find out how much you owe requires you to ask different questions to different people/agencies to make sure you know of all of your debt and to figure out how much you owe. Below three different debt types are discussed as well as debts you may owe if you received traffic tickets as part of your case or if you had tickets prior to being incarcerated.

Restitution

If you are incarcerated, you should be able to get a copy of your restitution balance sheet from your facility (either a CDCR facility or county jail). Ask your Correctional Counselor if you have any questions about your restitution.[2235]

If you have just been released, your facility (or the agency it has chosen) will either continue to collect your debt itself or refer your debt out to a private collection agency or the Franchise Tax Board.[2236] You should get a demand notice from whichever agency will continue collecting your restitution debt within 90 days of your release, although there is no set time for this.[2237]

If you are on parole, probation, or community supervision, talk to your parole agent or probation officer.[2238] They can give you a copy of your balance sheet, which has information about how much you currently owe.

At any time, you can also find out how much you owe by contacting an Adult Restitution Agent at the CDCR Office of Victim & Survivor Rights & Services Restitution Unit at (877) 256-6877 (toll free). They will be able to tell you your restitution balance and can give you information about what to do while you wait for the collection agency to contact you.[2239]

  1. 2235

    Cal. Penal Code § 2085.5; Cal. Dep’t Corr. & Rehab., An Adult Offender’s Guide to Restitution (Apr. 2007), http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/victim_services/docs/Adult_Offender_Guide.pdf.

  2. 2236

    Cal. Penal Code § 2085.5; see also Office of Victim & Survivor Rights & Svcs., Cal. Dep’t of Corr. & Rehab., Offender Restitution Information FAQ, http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/victim_services/restitution_offender.html.

  3. 2237

    Telephone Interview with Brandy (last name unknown), Agent, Office of Victim & Survivor Rights & Svcs., Cal. Dep’t of Corr. & Rehab. (Feb. 10, 2015); see also Cal. Rev. & Tax Code § 19280.

  4. 2238

    Office of Victim & Survivor Rights & Svcs., Cal. Dep’t of Corr. & Rehab., Parolee Restitution Payment Instructions, http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/victim_services/parolee_payment_instructions.html; Cal. Victim Comp. & Gov’t Claims Board, Your Restitution Responsibilities: A Brochure for Adult & Juvenile Offenders at 5 (rev’d May 2009), http://www.victimsofcrime.org/docs/restitution-toolkit/c5_ca-restitution-brochure-for-offenders.pdf?sfvrsn=2.

  5. 2239

    Telephone Interview with Brandy (last name unknown), Agent, Off. of Victim & Survivor Rights & Svcs., Cal. Dep’t of Corr. & Rehab. (Feb. 10, 2015); see also Office of Victim & Survivor Rights & Svcs., Cal. Dep’t of Corr. & Rehab., Offender Restitution Information FAQ, http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/victim_services/restitution_ftb.html.