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Property loss or damage

Compensation for loss or damage to property after finding of guilt.

Two types of orders are available when property has been stolen, lost, damaged or destroyed:

  • compensation orders and
  • restitution orders.

If property is stolen, a victim can apply for restitution orders.

See Stolen property.

Compensation for injury

Compensation for injury is not included. A victim will have to make a separate application for injury-related loss.

See Injury.

Compensation orders

Compensation orders can be made for property loss, damage or destruction (including motor vehicles). This remedy is available if a person has been found guilty or convicted of an offence and the property was lost or damaged as a result of that offence.

The amount of compensation can be any amount that the court sees fit, up to the value of the property.

See ss. 86, 86AA—Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic) (link below)

Who may apply for orders

The court must ask the prosecution if an application will be made when offender found guilty where property loss a direct result of the offence (still the prosecution are not obligated to do so).

The court can make an order on its own motion if the person to benefit from the order consents and offender has reasonable opportunity to respond.

Applications can be made by the victim themselves, or by the prosecution at their discretion. Nothing compels the prosecution to make an application.

See s. 86—Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic) (link below)

Since the Victoria Police Manual requires investigating members to provide victims with information about the support services and entitlements available to them, victims can consult with them throughout the investigation and prosecution process.

See References.

Time limit

If the victim or the prosecution are applying, the applications must be made to the court as soon as practicable after an offender is found guilty.

See s. 86(5)—Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic) (link below)

The court hearing

Victims considering making an application should be aware that:

  • they (or others) may have to attend a court hearing and provide evidence, and this evidence may be challenged by the offender
  • the offender may give evidence themselves, and call other people to give evidence
  • the court can take into account the financial circumstances of the offender and the burden the payment will impose
  • each party will bear their own legal costs.

Other than oral testimony, some forms of evidence can include:

  • any findings of fact in the proceeding for the offence
  • an undisputed statement of material facts provided to the court by the prosecution
  • admissions, written statements made available at the hearing, and victim impact statements
  • documents produced by victim but not admissible at the hearing—for example, if they get a quote for the cost of repair to a motor vehicle.

Unlike with compensation for injury application, the court is not required to give written reasons for granting or refusing applications.

See s. 86—Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic) (link below)

Payment by instalments

Orders can be made in instalments and, on default, the total amount becomes due and payable.

See s. 86(4)—Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic) (link below)

Enforcing the order

If payment is not made the debt has to be enforced as a civil judgment debt. It may be enforced in the court where the order was made.

See s. 87—Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic)

More information


Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic)

  • Part 4—Orders in addition to sentence
  • Part 4 Subdivision 2—Compensation for property loss
  • s. 86—compensation order
  • s. 86AA court to ask if application for compensation order will be made

See Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic).