State v. Kurtz

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 09-23-2015
  • Case #: A155403
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, P.J. for the Court; DeVore, J.; Flynn, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 151.505(3), a defendant pays a court-appointed attorney fee only if they can "or may be able to” pay them. A court lacks authority to impose court-appointed attorney fees unless the court finds on the record that the person is or may be able to pay those costs.

Defendant appealed the imposition of attorney fees for a court-appointed attorney. Defendant did not object to the imposition of fees at trial. However, the State conceded that the trial court erred, and the Court also determined that the trial court committed a plain error. The Court reasoned that an attorney fee could only be imposed when a defendant is or may be able to pay. Here, the record was devoid of any evidence that trial court could determine Defendant's ability to pay. Portion of judgment requiring Defendant to pay attorney fees reversed; otherwise affirmed.

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