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State v. Ludlow 2015 UT App 146 (June 11, 2015)

Jun 11, 2015

Defendant, convicted of theft, appealed the amount of restitution required by the court. The prosecution had introduced only evidence of the purchase price of the stolen items, and the Defendant presented no alternative evidence of fair market value. The lower court awarded the purchase price of the items as restitution. The Utah Court of Appeals reversed, holding that it was the prosecutor’s burden to demonstrate an appropriate amount of restitution, and that if the States fails to meet that burden, the court should calculate the value of the items for which purchase price provides a fair estimate of value, and then grant nominal value for any item whose value is not reasonably reflected in the purchase price. The court further included discussion of the circumstances in which purchase price is or isn’t an appropriate approximation of fair market value.