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Chapter 7:
Financial Penalties


How to Demonstrate Average Restitution


EXAMPLE ONE: EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA

Navigate to the district’s Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system: ecf.vaed.uscourts.gov.

Login Page for Eastern District of Virginia Pacer

Click on the “Eastern District of Virginia – – Document Filing System” Link.

Eastern District of Virginia PACER Login Page

Log into PACER using your credentials. Accept the Redaction Responsibility notice.

Using the menu at the top of the page, navigate to Reports → Criminal Reports → Criminal Cases

Arrive at the following landing page:

EDVA Criminal Cases Report Landing Page.

Make the following adjustments:

    1. Select the office you wish to investigate (for example, Alexandria).
    2. Select the citation you wish to investigate (for example, 18:2252A.F).
    3. Next to “Count Status,” check the boxes next to “Pending” and “Disposed.”
    4. Next to “Filed,” select the date range you are interested in (for example, the past five years).
    5. Check the boxes next to “Pending defendants” and “Terminated defendants.”

Select “Run Report.”

Determine which information would be most useful for your case. This could include all of the Court’s restitution orders for the relevant statute in the last five years, the Court’s last few restitution orders for the relevant statute, or a specific Judge’s restitution orders for the relevant statute. For this example, we will look at all of the 18 U.S.C. 2252A cases that Judge T.S. Ellis has presided over and ordered restitution for in the last five years (12/1/2018-12/1/2023).

List of EDVA criminal cases with "Presider: T.S. Ellis, III" highlighted.

Select the Case Number you are interested in (for example, 1:18-cr-00360-TSE).

Select “Run Report.”

EDVA Criminal Docket for Wilson case.

Scroll down and locate the Restitution Order. In this example, it is number 47. Click on the number.

List of documents for US v. Ellis with "Restitution Order" highlighted.

 Select “View Document.”

PACER Service Center Transaction Receipt

Restitution Order for US v. Wilson

Second part of US v. Ellis restitution order.

Scroll down to locate the attachment to the restitution order itemizing the amount of restitution ordered for each victim.

US v. Ellis attachment A to restitution order.

In this case, Judge Ellis ordered the mandatory minimum restitution amount under 18 U.S.C. § 2259 of $3,000 for the first victim, and varied $500 downward for the second.

Note: Sometimes the attachment is under a second link, usually listed next to or below that of the restitution order.

Restitution Order Attachment Link

Note: Sometimes the restitution amount is indicated on a consent order of restitution.

Consent order of restitution page 1

Consent Order of Restitution page 2

Using the spreadsheet program of your choice, create a chart and insert the following information:

Spreadsheet with information from US v. Wilson restitution order.

Repeat steps #9 – #14 until you have collected all of the information you need.

EDVA Restitution Spreadsheet

Eliminate the cases that are missing information.

Spreadsheet for EDVA Judge Ellis listing cases, loss amounts, and total restitution amounts.

You can now see that in the Alexandria court in the Eastern District of Virginia, in a five-year time span, for the cases that we found information for, Justice Ellis has varied downward by as much as $1,500/victim, and has not imposed more than the mandatory minimum restitution amount of $3,000/victim.

EXAMPLE TWO: SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

Navigate to the district’s Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system: ecf.nysd.uscourts.gov.

SDNY PACER Landing page.

Click on the “Southern District of New York – Document Filing System” Link.

New York Southern District Court PACER Login page.

Log into PACER using your credentials. Accept the Redaction Responsibility notice.

Using the menu at the top of the page, navigate to Reports → Criminal Reports → Criminal Cases

Navigating to Criminal Cases from the SDNY Pacer menu.

Arrive at the following landing page:

SDNY Criminal Cases Report selection menu.

Make the following adjustments:

    1. Select the office you wish to investigate (for example, White Plains).
    2. Select the citation you wish to investigate (for example, 18:2252A.F).
    3. Next to “Count Status,” check the boxes next to “Pending” and “Disposed.”
    4. Next to “Filed,” select the date range you are interested in (for example, the past five years).
    5. Check the boxes next to “Pending defendants” and “Terminated defendants.”

Select “Run Report.”

List of SDNY Cases.

Determine which information would be most useful for your case. This could include all of the Court’s restitution orders for the relevant statute in the last five years, the Court’s last few restitution orders for the relevant statute, or a specific Judge’s restitution orders for the relevant statute. For this example, we will look at all of the 18 U.S.C. 2252A cases that Judge Seibel has presided over and ordered restitution for in the last five years (12/1/2018-12/1/2023).

SDNY Cases with "Presider: Cathy Seibel" Highlighted

Select the Case Number you are interested in (for example, 1:19-cr-00097-JSR).

Query page for USA v. Ostrander

Select “History/Documents…” Check the box next to “Display docket text.” Select “Run Query.”

Scroll down and locate the Judgment. In this example, it is number 31. Click on the number.

Case menu page with "judgment" highlighted.

Select “View Document.”

Scroll down to locate the amount of restitution ordered.

US v. Ostrander Criminal Monetary Penalties page

The total restitution ordered in this case in $9,000. To determine how much was ordered per victim, locate the Order of Restitution. In this example, it is number 32. Click on the number and view the document.

Documents for US v. Ostrander with "Order of Restitution" highlighted

PACER Transaction Receipt for US v. Ostrander Restitution Order

In this case, the defendant was ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution to each victim. Given that the total amount of restitution ordered was $9,000, we know that the defendant was ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution for each of the three victims.

US v. Ostrander Order of Restitution

Using the spreadsheet program of your choice, create a chart and insert the following information:

Spreadsheet with the following information for US v. Ostrander: Loss amount per victim, total amount of restitution

Repeat steps #9 – #16 until you have collected all of the information you need.

Spreadsheet with information about restitution from SDNY cases.

You can now see that in the White Plains court in the Southern District of New York, in a five-year time span, for the cases that we found information for, Justice Seibel has imposed the minimum $3,000 restitution in the cases in which restitution was ordered, and typically does not order restitution.

EXAMPLE THREE: NORTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA

Navigate to the district’s Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system: ecf.gand.uscourts.gov.

Click on the “Northern District of Georgia – Document Filing System” Link.

GAND Official Court Electronic Document Filing System

Using the menu at the top of the page, navigate to GAND External Rpts → Criminal Cases

GAND PACER menu navigating to criminal cases.

Arrive at the following page:

Make the following adjustments:

    1. Select the office you wish to investigate (for example, Atlanta).
    2. Select the citation you wish to investigate (for example, 18:2252.F).
    3. Next to “Filed,” select the date range you are interested in (for example, the past month).
    4. Select “All Defendants”

GAND Criminal Cases Report Selections - Atlanta, 12/1/2022-1/1/2023 2252F

Note: In this district, the report date range can be no longer than 31 days. If you enter a date range longer than this the following message will appear:

Error message reading "Report date range can be no longer than 31 days."

Select “Submit.”

GAND Criminal Cases Report for 7/1/2018-8/1/2018

Select the case number you are interested in (ex. 1:18-cr-00282-MHC-JFK)

Docket Sheet for US v. Eagan.

Select “Run Report.”

Criminal Docket for US v. Eagan.

Locate the judgment. In this example, it is number 24. Click the number.

Docket for US v. Eagan with "Judgment and Commitment" highlighted.

Select “View Document.”

PACER Transaction Receipt for Eagan Judgment.

Judgment for US v. Eagan.

Scroll down and locate the amount of restitution ordered.

Criminal Monetary Penalties Page for US v. Eagan.

In this example, $1,000 in restitution was ordered for one victim.

Enter the information into a spreadsheet.

Spreadsheet with information on US v. Eagan Restitution Order.

Repeat steps #5 – #12 until you have collected all of the information you need.

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