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State v. Barrick

Supreme Court of Montana

March 31, 2015

STATE OF MONTANA, Plaintiff and Appellee
v.
MICHAEL L. BARRICK, Defendant and Appellant.

Submitted on Briefs: November 13, 2014

APPEAL FROM: District Court of the Tenth Judicial District, In and For the County of Fergus, Cause No. DC 2012-49 Honorable Jon A. Oldenburg, Presiding Judge

For Appellant Craig R. Buehler, Attorney at Law; Lewistown, Montana

For Appellee Timothy C. Fox, Montana Attorney General; C. Mark Fowler, Assistant Attorney General; Helena, Montana

Thomas P. Meissner, Fergus County Attorney; Lewistown, Montana

JIM RICE

¶1 Michael L. Barrick (Barrick) appeals from the order of the Tenth Judicial District Court, Fergus County, requiring him to pay restitution in the amount of $9, 357.14 following his conviction of Cruelty to Animals and Criminal Mischief. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

¶2 We address the following issues on appeal:

¶3 1. Did the District Court err by ordering Barrick pay restitution to the victims for lost wages?

¶4 2. Did the District Court err by ordering Barrick pay restitution for a victim's medical bills?

¶5 3. Did the District Court abuse its discretion by denying Barrick's motion to produce records?

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

¶6 On September 20, 2013, a jury convicted Barrick of Criminal Mischief and Cruelty to Animals for fatally shooting the family dog of Brett Tuss, Ann Tuss, and Anika Tuss (collectively, the Tuss Family). Although Barrick and the Tuss Family disagreed as to the circumstances surrounding the animal's death, Barrick acknowledges that he fatally shot the dog.

¶7 During the sentencing phase, the Tuss Family requested restitution in the amount $9, 357.14 arising from the loss of the animal and attendant criminal proceedings. Their claim included the replacement cost of the dog, medical bills for Brett Tuss, lost wages for time spent by the Tuss Family cooperating in the prosecution of the offenses, and their travelling expenses associated with the prosecution of the offenses.

¶8 In response to the Tuss Family's restitution claim, Barrick filed a motion to produce records, seeking production of all the medical records of Brett Tuss for the last five years; federal income tax returns for Brett and Ann Tuss for the last two years; pay stubs from Ann and Anika Tuss from October 15, 2012; and a release of information to authorize Barrick to obtain Ann and Anika Tuss' employment information. The District Court ultimately denied Barrick's motion to produce records.

ΒΆ9 The District Court conducted a restitution hearing at which members of the Tuss Family testified. Brett Tuss testified to the replacement value of the dog, the loss of time he sustained by participating in the prosecution, medical bills he sustained due to the stress of losing the family dog, and traveling expenses incurred in participating in the prosecution. Ann and Anika Tuss similarly ...


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