The father of the victim would like restitution for broken glasses and medical bills. Do you recommend the JRB deal with the financial damages or let the family file a civil suit?As far as restitution is concerned, the JRB should be careful not to get into the middle of a contested civil dispute. If the parties can agree on the amount of restitution and a payment schedule, then those terms can be incorporated into the diversion contract. If there is disagreement about the amount or payment schedule however, the JRB should either consider leaving the issue of the restitution to the civil court, if the victim wishes to file a lawsuit, or let the insurance companies involved negotiate a settlement. If it is a significant issue, the JRB should consider not taking the case at all due to related issues (restitution) that cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of all the parties, through the JRB process.
Replacing broken glasses is probably reasonable, if they were broken as the result of the juvenile's actions. When you start talking about "medical bills" however, especially where the victim is probably covered by (and may have already been reimbursed by) their medical insurance, that may be beyond the scope of what the JRB can handle.
Meeting with the victim's family to determine what they are looking for and then seeing if the juvenile's family agrees is another option. If so, include it, if not, consider referring the matter to court or see if the victim has a serious problem with the JRB process proceeding without addressing the restitution issue, making sure that both sides understand that the JRB process does not foreclose anybody from exercising any rights that they may have outside of the JRB process.
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