State v. Housego

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Attorney Fees
  • Date Filed: 02-18-2016
  • Case #: A158030
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J.; Lagesen, J.; & Nakamoto, J. pro Tempore. Per Curiam.
  • Full Text Opinion

A trial court may not impose attorney fees when there is no evidence in the record of the imposed's ability to pay those fees.

Defendant convicted of first-degree forgery. Defendant received 18 months of probation and an imposition of $1,000 in fines and $360 in attorney fees. The only evidence in the record concerning Defendant’s financial situation was evidence that he was living in his car, that his girlfriend was pregnant, and that he would have difficulty retaining a job with his multiple prior convictions. Defendant appealed the imposition of attorney fees, arguing that the trial court plainly erred in imposing attorney fees without finding on the record Defendant’s ability to pay those attorney fees. The Oregon Court of Appeals held that the error of the amount of attorney fees is sufficiently grave given the amount of fees Defendant had to pay. Judgment requiring Defendant to pay attorney fees reversed; otherwise affirmed.

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