This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).




Rodney Harrell, petitioner,



State of Minnesota,


Filed May 20, 1997


Lansing, Judge

Hennepin County District Court

File No. 95021257

Hubert H. Humphrey III, Attorney General, 445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1400, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for Respondent)

Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Donna J. Wolfson, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for Respondent)

Rodney Harrell, Post Office Box 55, Stillwater, MN 55082 (Pro Se Appellant)

Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge, Short, Judge, and Klaphake, Judge.



In a postconviction appeal, Rodney Harrell challenges the district court's refusal to vacate restitution. Because the district court did not abuse its discretion when it modified restitution after sentencing, we affirm.


Rodney Harrell pleaded guilty to second degree felony manslaughter. During sentencing the prosecutor indicated that the victim's sister would request $435 for burial expenses and a funeral plot. The probation officer noted that this amount was "in addition to what the Crime Reparations Board may reimburse her for." The sentencing judge ordered Harrell to pay $435 in restitution; Harrell did not object.

Approximately three weeks after the sentencing hearing, the probation officer notified the Minnesota correctional facility at Stillwater that the district court had entered a total restitution order for $2,615.90. Harrell filed a pro se petition challenging the purportedly modified order. One day later the district court issued a Modification of Sentence/Commitment ordering Harrell to pay the Minnesota Crime Victims' Reparation Board $2,180.90 for the victim's funeral expenses in addition to the $435 restitution to be paid to the victim's sister. Harrell then moved to vacate the modified restitution order. The district court denied Harrell's motion, and Harrell now appeals.


We review a postconviction proceeding only to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to sustain the postconviction court's findings, and a postconviction court's decision will not be disturbed absent an abuse of discretion. Scruggs v. State, 484 N.W.2d 21, 25 (Minn. 1992). The district court has wide discretion in ordering restitution to compensate for the "loss sustained by the victim as a result of the offense." Minn. Stat. § 611A.045, subd. 1 (1996); State v. Anderson, 507 N.W.2d 245, 246 (Minn. App. 1993), review denied (Minn. Dec. 22, 1993). When a restitution award is disputed, the burden of substantiating the amount and type of restitution is on the prosecution. Minn. Stat. § 611A.045, subd. 3.


Harrell argues that the district court abused its discretion because it failed to provide a factual basis for the restitution order. He does not specifically dispute the amount of $2,180.90 nor that it was paid for funeral expenses, but disputes the district court's power to increase the amount from $435 to $2,615.90. We note that the probation office did not have authority to advise the correctional institution to withhold additional amounts for restitution without first obtaining an order from the district court. Nonetheless, the appeal is from the district court's order refusing to vacate the original and the modified restitution orders entered by the district court.

A court may amend or issue an order of restitution after sentencing if "the true extent of the victim's loss * * * was not known at the time of the sentencing * * * hearing" and if specified procedural requirements are satisfied. Minn. Stat. § 611A.04, subd. 1(b)(3). The procedural requirements include submitting information relating to restitution which describes the items or elements of loss, itemizing the total dollar amounts of restitution claimed and specifying the reasons justifying the amounts. Minn. Stat. § 611A.04, subd. 1(a). The district court has wide discretion in determining the amount of restitution, but the record must provide a factual basis for an award. State v. Keehn, 554 N.W.2d 405, 408 (Minn. App. 1996), review denied (Minn. Dec. 17, 1996).

Harrell argues that at sentencing the parties did not contemplate a restitution award for funeral expenses, but the record does not support that claim. At sentencing the prosecutor requested $435 for funeral expenses, and the probation officer noted that this request was "in addition to what the Crime Reparations Board might pay her." The transcript indicates that at sentencing the parties contemplated that Harrell would pay restitution for the victim's entire funeral expenses, which at the time were unknown. We find that this record is sufficient to establish that the parties contemplated restitution for funeral expenses and the burial plot.

Harrell points to Keehn as support for the proposition that the district court must establish an adequate factual basis for the restitution award. 554 N.W.2d at 409. But Keehn remanded a restitution award for "miscellaneous expenses" because no documentation in the record supported the specific amount ordered. The amended restitution order is supported by the affidavit from the Crime Victims' Reparations Board stating that $2,180.90 was spent on the victim's funeral. The rules promulgated by the Crime Victims' Reparations Board require a claimant to submit "a claim form completed and signed by [the] claimant" to obtain reimbursement. Minn. R. 7505.0400. The Board's procedural requirements ensure that the statute's demand for an itemized description of the loss and its value is satisfied. The Board's affidavit is a sufficient factual basis on which the district court could rely in determining the restitution amount. When an award is supported by a factual basis, documentation need not include receipts. See Keehn, 554 N.W.2d at 408.