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Judges order court to take second look at restitution attorney must pay

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A Monroe County attorney who pleaded guilty to Class D felony counterfeiting and ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution to a victim may not have to pay that full amount after the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday ordered the trial court to take another look at the restitution amount.

Bloomington attorney Philip H. Chamberlain was charged with five Class C felonies stemming from his involvement in the development of a golf course in Orleans, Ind., for which he was a consultant. The golf course was owned by Dwight Hart.

Chamberlain convinced acquaintance Shannon Ramey and his girlfriend Helen Fields, who own Dorothy Apartment Rentals, to invest money on behalf of their company into the golf course. Unbeknownst to Ramey, Fields or Hart, Chamberlain was cashing checks made out to the golf course and kept a portion of the money.

At one point, Hart loaned Chamberlain $5,000 for performing work as a consultant, money he never repaid.

At his sentencing and restitution hearing, Chamberlain explained he repaid Hart $25,500 before any criminal charges were filed against him. The trial court ordered him to pay Hart $15,000 in restitution, which included the $5,000 for the unpaid loan.

Chamberlain, pro se, appealed, claiming the loan shouldn’t be included in restitution because his counterfeiting conviction didn’t cover that incident. The Court of Appeals agreed in the not-for-publication opinion, Philip H. Chamberlain v. State of Indiana, 53A01-1305-CR-247.

“But because we do not have the transcript from Chamberlain’s guilty-plea hearing, we cannot consult the factual basis for his counterfeiting conviction to see what written instrument it covered. Without this information, we cannot determine the amount of restitution, if any, Hart is entitled to after taking into account that Chamberlain has already paid Hart $25,500. We must therefore remand this case to the trial court for it to determine the amount of restitution, if any, Hart is entitled to for the counterfeiting conviction only, taking into consideration Chamberlain’s $25,500 payment to Hart,” the appellate court ruled.  

Chamberlain received an interim suspension June 2013 pending final resolution of any resulting disciplinary action.

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  1. Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in December, but U.S. District Judge Robert Miller later reduced that to about $540,000 to put the damages for suffering under the statutory cap of $300,000.

  2. I was trying to remember, how did marriage get gay in Kentucky, did the people vote for it? Ah no, of course not. It was imposed by judicial fiat. The voted-for official actually represents the will of the majority in the face of an unelected federal judiciary. But democracy only is just a slogan for the powerful, they trot it out when they want and call it bigotry etc when they don't.

  3. Ah yes... Echoes of 1963 as a ghostly George Wallace makes his stand at the Schoolhouse door. We now know about the stand of personal belief over service to all constituents at the Carter County Clerk door. The results are the same, bigotry unable to follow the directions of the courts and the courts win. Interesting to watch the personal belief take a back seat rather than resign from a perception of local power to make the statement.

  4. An oath of office, does it override the conscience? That is the defense of overall soldier who violates higher laws, isnt it? "I was just following orders" and "I swore an oath of loyalty to der Fuhrer" etc. So this is an interesting case of swearing a false oath and then knowing that it was wrong and doing the right thing. Maybe they should chop her head off too like the "king's good servant-- but God's first" like St Thomas More. ...... We wont hold our breath waiting for the aclu or other "civil liberterians" to come to her defense since they are all arrayed on the gay side, to a man or should I say to a man and womyn?

  5. Perhaps we should also convene a panel of independent anthropological experts to study the issues surrounding this little-known branch of human sacrifice?

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