Opinion No. 30
from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District,
State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Timothy L. Hansen, District
Court's restitution order, affirmed.
Benjamin, McKay & Bartlett, LLP, Boise, for appellant.
Deborah Whipple argued.
Lawrence G. Wasden, Idaho Attorney General, Boise, for
respondent. Mark Olson, Deputy Attorney General, argued.
BURDICK, Chief Justice.
appeal concerns a restitution award an Ada County District
Court entered under Idaho Code section 19-5304. The award
requires Christina Wisdom to pay $11, 069.82 for counseling
services for the victim of her crime. Wisdom appealed the
award to the Idaho Court of Appeals, which vacated the award
for lack of causation. We granted the State's timely
petition for review, and we affirm the district court.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
November 2013, Wisdom pled guilty to one count of injury to a
child. That plea is based on Wisdom allowing her husband,
Ronald Wisdom, to access Wisdom's daughter, M.L., who was
born in a prior marriage, despite knowing that Ronald had
previously sexually abused M.L. Wisdom first learned of
Ronald's abuse shortly after it first occurred in 2007.
At that time, M.L. told Wisdom of Ronald's abuse. Wisdom
instructed M.L. "not to tell anyone . . . and that
[Wisdom] would figure things out." Wisdom, however, took
no action. As a result, Ronald continued abusing M.L. until
authorities intervened in 2013.
was indicted on three counts of lewd conduct with a minor
under age sixteen. A jury convicted him on all three counts,
and the "district court imposed concurrent unified
40-year sentences with 20 years fixed on each charge."
The district court ordered Ronald to pay $11, 069.82 in
restitution for M.L.'s counseling, payable to Idaho
Medicaid State Operations.
Wisdom's sentencing, the State requested Ronald's
restitution award be jointly and severally assessed against
Wisdom. She made two objections. First, Wisdom argued the
State had failed to establish her conduct caused M.L.'s
injury. Second, Wisdom argued she could not repay the award.
The district court rejected both objections and entered the
appealed, and the Idaho Court of Appeals vacated the award
for lack of causation. The State timely petitioned for review
to this Court.
ISSUES ON APPEAL
Idaho Medicaid State Operations a "victim" eligible
the State prove causation?
the restitution award constitute an abuse of discretion?
STANDARD OF REVIEW
addressing a petition for review, this Court will give
"serious consideration to the views of the Court of
Appeals, but directly reviews the decision of the lower
court." State v. Schall, 157 Idaho 488, 491,
337 P.3d 647, 650 (2014) (citation omitted). "[W]hether
to order restitution, and in what amount, is within the
district court's discretion and is guided by
consideration of the factors set forth in Idaho Code section
19-5304(7)." State v. Corbus, 150 Idaho 599,
602, 249 P.3d 398, 401 (2011) (citing State v.
Richmond, 137 Idaho 35, 37, 43 P.3d 794, 796 (Ct. App.
2002)). To determine whether the district court abused its
discretion, this Court evaluates whether the district court:
(1) correctly perceived the issue as one of discretion; (2)
acted within the outer boundaries of its discretion and
consistently with relevant legal standards; and (3) reached
its decision by an exercise of reason. Swallow v.
Emergency Med. of Idaho, P.A., 138 Idaho 589, 592, 67
P.3d 68, 71 (2003). The second and third requirements of that
inquiry require the district court to base the restitution
award on the preponderance of evidence submitted by the
prosecutor, defendant, victim, or presentence investigator.
I.C. § 19-5304(6). What amount of restitution to award
is a question of fact for the district court, whose findings
will not be disturbed if supported by substantial evidence.
Corbus, 150 Idaho at 602, 249 P.3d at 401.
Substantial evidence is "relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept to support a conclusion."
State v. Straub, 153 Idaho 882, 885, 292 P.3d 273,
276 (2013); see also State v. Nelson, slip op. 44177
at 6-7 (Feb. 27, 2017) (holding that unsworn representations
on prosecution expenses did not constitute substantial
evidence to support an award of restitution for prosecution
expenses "actually incurred").
offers three main arguments to contend the restitution award
is improper. First is that Idaho Medicaid State Operations is
not a "victim" eligible for restitution. Second is
that the State failed to prove Wisdom caused M.L.'s
injury. Third is that the restitution award constitutes an
abuse of discretion due to Wisdom's financial
Wisdom failed to preserve whether Idaho Medicaid State
Operations is a "victim" eligible for
maintains that the district court erred by awarding
restitution to Idaho Medicaid State Operations (IMSO) because
the State presented no evidence that IMSO is a
"victim" eligible for restitution under Idaho Code
section 19-5304(1)(e). Wisdom did not raise this argument
below, but she contends it is preserved ...