(1) Whenever the court imposes a fine as penalty for the commission of a crime resulting in injury for which the person injured by the act constituting the crime has a remedy by civil action, unless the issue of punitive damages has been previously decided on a civil case arising out of the same act and transaction, the court may order that the defendant pay any portion of the fine separately to the clerk of the court as compensatory fines in the case. The clerk shall pay over to the injured victim or victims, as directed in the courtís order, moneys paid to the court as compensatory fines under this subsection. This section shall be liberally construed in favor of victims.
(2) Compensatory fines may be awarded in addition to restitution awarded under ORS 137.103 to 137.109.
(3) Nothing in this section limits or impairs the right of a person injured by a defendantís criminal acts to sue and recover damages from the defendant in a civil action. Evidence that the defendant has paid or been ordered to pay compensatory fines under this section may not be introduced in any civil action arising out of the facts or events which were the basis for the compensatory fine. However, the court in such civil action shall credit any compensatory fine paid by the defendant to a victim against any judgment for punitive damages in favor of the victim in the civil action. [1981 c.637 §2; 1987 c.2 §11]
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Last modified: August 7, 2008