Defendant Can’t Afford Restitution; Judge and DDA Give Defendant a Break


By Özge Terzioğlu

SACRAMENTO – Defendant Bryan Rosengren is working hard to get a felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor—and he found a little support from Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Scott L. Tedmon this week.

The judge and prosecution suggested a plan to help Rosengren get the court to approve of a motion to reduce his felony charge to a misdemeanor and withdraw his guilty plea.

Rosengren was upset that he couldn’t get his domestic violence case dismissed or reduced to a misdemeanor because he and “the mom get along great now.”

Judge Tedmon explained that the defendant owes $2,300 in restitution fines, and if he dismisses his case, those fines will go unpaid. Therefore, the judge cannot reduce his felony charge to a misdemeanor until he pays the fine.

Exasperated, the defendant explained that he’s on Supplemental Security Income, has three kids, and he also pays $600/month of child support. He said he’s paid about $400 or $500 toward the fine.

Deputy District Attorney Jenna Saavedra wanted to know if the defendant talked to the Department of Revenue Recovery to see if they could work together on finding a solution. The defendant said he did, but they wanted him to pay $150 a month, which he cannot afford.

Judge Tedmon told the defendant that if he paid DRR $50 per month, they wouldn’t refuse it, even though it’s less than $150 per month.

Defendant Rosengren said he can definitely pay $50 per month. Judge Tedmon advised him that as long as he’s making “regular and consistent payments, it will help for your motions. I know you want to move your life forward. I’m not going to order you to pay $50 per month, but let us put this over 6 months, and come back and see how you’ve done.”

Judge Tedmon reiterated that he would not rule on the motion to reduce the defendant’s felony charge to a misdemeanor or the motion to withdraw his guilty/ no contest plea until he shows that he’s been making consistent payments, in whatever amount he can, until his court date.

Defendant Rosengren’s next court date is on May 17, 2021, at 1:35 p.m. in Department 60.

Özge Terzioğlu is from San Diego and she is a sophomore at UC Berkeley majoring in Rhetoric and minoring in Turkish.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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