Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton
From: Hamilton County Juvenile Court Trial No. 15-3141Z
T. Deters, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney, and Alex
Scott Havlin, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee
State of Ohio,
Raymond T. Faller, Hamilton County Public Defender, and Julie
Kahrs Nessler, Assistant Public Defender, for Appellant M.N.
Appellant M.N. has appealed from the juvenile court's
order imposing restitution for the victim's costs to
rekey her home and her car. We find no merit to his
assignment of error, and we affirm the juvenile court's
and Procedural Background
At approximately 2:00 a.m. on Sunday April 26, 2015, M.N. was
stopped by the police as he was driving a stolen car. A
complaint was filed in juvenile court charging M.N. with
committing acts which, had he been an adult, would have
constituted the offense of receiving stolen property in
violation of R.C. 2913.51. M.N. entered into a plea agreement
and admitted to a reduced charge of unauthorized use of a
vehicle in violation of R.C. 2913.03. Following his
adjudication, M.N. requested an evidentiary hearing to
challenge the restitution amount of $1, 369.16.
At the restitution hearing, Carrie Meece, the victim of the
offense, testified that, while she was at work, she noticed
her car key was missing from her key ring. Two days later,
her car was stolen from her work place on a Friday afternoon.
She reported the car stolen that day, and the car was
recovered at 2 a.m. that Sunday.
Meece testified that the vehicle sustained a fair amount of
body damage, and that numerous items were stolen from the
car. She prepared a list of all of the missing items and the
cost to replace them. She also testified that her
registration, which listed her home address, was in the glove
compartment, and she kept a spare set of keys, which included
her house keys, in the car. The car key that had been removed
from her key chain was recovered from M.N. upon his arrest.
Meece spent $175 to rekey the car and $230.53 to rekey the
home, for a total of $405.53. She rekeyed both because
"the police recommended that we rekey everything because
we didn't know if they had made another key from the
vehicle, since they had the master key." She further
explained that she rekeyed both for security purposes since
her home address was on the registration papers.
The juvenile court ordered M.N. to pay restitution in the
amount of $1, 369.16. M.N. is challenging the award of
$405.53 to rekey the house and car.
In one assignment of error, M.N. contends that the juvenile
court abused its discretion in imposing restitution for the
rekeying of the victim's home and car because the costs
were noneconomic losses ineligible for restitution, and the
costs were not caused by the offense of unauthorized use of a
vehicle. This assignment of error is not well taken.
Generally, a decision to award restitution lies within the
sound discretion of a juvenile court and will not be reversed
on appeal absent an abuse of discretion. See In re
MA.,2016-Ohio-1161, 61 N.E.3d 630, ¶ 12 (11th
Dist.). "There must be competent and credible evidence
in the record from which the court may ascertain the amount
of restitution to a reasonable degree of certainty."
State v. Seele, 6th Dist. Sandusky No. S-13-025,
2014-Ohi0-1455, ¶ 9. A trial court abuses its
discretion by ordering restitution in an amount that does not
bear a reasonable relationship to the actual loss suffered.
(Internal citations omitted.) See ...