P. v. Lopez CA5
Defendant Victor Lopez was convicted of first degree murder in 2007. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison and ordered to pay $5,187.44 in direct victim restitution and a $10,000 restitution fine. In 2021, approximately 14 years after his conviction, he filed a motion, in propria persona, “to strike or modify court ordered restitution, fees, or fines.” (Capitalization omitted.) The trial court understood the motion to challenge imposition of defendant’s direct victim restitution order and denied defendant’s motion for multiple reasons, including that it lacked the jurisdiction to hear the motion. Defendant contends the trial court erred in failing to construe his motion as a challenge to the restitution fine (rather than merely direct victim restitution) and failing to reach the merits of that portion of his motion. The People disagree, arguing that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to hear defendant’s motion, even insofar as it challenged restitution fines.