Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 2. Form of Sentence

Type And Time Of Payment -- Defenses -- Ensuring Payment

46-18-244. Type and time of payment -- defenses -- ensuring payment. (1) The court shall specify the total amount of restitution that the offender shall pay.

(2) In the proceeding for the determination of the amount of restitution, the offender may assert any defense that the offender could raise in a civil action for the loss for which the victim seeks compensation.

(3) In addition to other methods of payment, the court may order one or more of the following in order to satisfy the offender's restitution obligation:

(a) forfeiture and sale of the offender's assets under the provisions of Title 25, chapter 13, part 7, unless the court finds, after notice and an opportunity for the offender to be heard, that the assets are reasonably necessary for the offender to sustain a living or support the offender's dependents or unless the state determines that the cost of forfeiture and sale would outweigh the amount available to the victim after sale. If the proceeds of sale exceed the amount of restitution ordered and the costs of forfeiture and sale, any remaining amount must be returned to the offender.

(b) return of any property to the victim.

(4) With the consent of the victim and in the discretion of the court, an offender may be ordered to make restitution in services to the victim in lieu of money or to make restitution to a person designated by the victim, if that person provided services to the victim as a result of the offense.

(5) After a prosecution is commenced and upon petition of the prosecutor, the court may grant a restraining order or injunction, require a satisfactory bond, or take other action if the court finds that the restraining order or injunction, bond, or other action is necessary to preserve property or assets that could be used to satisfy an anticipated restitution order. A hearing must be held on the petition, and any person with an interest in the property is entitled to be heard.

(6) For a felony offense:

(a) during any period that the offender is incarcerated, the department of corrections shall take a percentage, as set by department rule, of any money in any account of the defendant administered by the department and use the money to satisfy any existing restitution obligation;

(b) at the beginning of any period during which the offender is not incarcerated, the offender shall sign a statement allowing any employer of the offender to garnish up to 25% of the offender's compensation and give the garnished amounts to the department of corrections to be used by the department to satisfy any existing restitution obligation; and

(c) during any period that the defendant is on probation or parole, the probation and parole officer shall set a monthly restitution payment amount by dividing the total amount of unpaid restitution by the number of remaining months of probation or parole. The probation and parole officer may adjust the monthly payment up or down by a maximum of 10%, depending on the offender's circumstances.

(7) The department of corrections shall give the department of revenue a copy of the order to pay restitution. If full restitution has not been paid, the department of revenue shall, pursuant to an agreement made under 46-18-241, intercept any state tax refunds and any federal tax refunds, as provided by law, due the offender and transfer the money to the department of corrections for a felony offense and to the sentencing court for a misdemeanor offense for disbursement to the victim. The department of revenue may charge the department of corrections a fee to recover its costs of intercepting a tax refund. The fee may not exceed the amount charged a state agency for debt collection services under Title 17, chapter 4.

History: En. Sec. 4, Ch. 426, L. 1983; amd. Sec. 16, Ch. 125, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 181, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 284, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 272, L. 2003.