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State v. Wallace

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 10-09-2013
Case #: A149156
Duncan, J. for the Court; Schuman, P.J.; and Wollheim, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A149156.pdf

Attorney Fees: A defendant represented by court appointed counsel shall not be ordered to pay attorney fees unless it can be determined that the defendant may be able to pay them.

Defendant appealed the trial court’s imposition of attorney fees following his conviction of murder with a firearm. Defendant had very few assets and was disabled. The trial court ordered Defendant to pay $37,400 in attorney fees. The trial court stated that it was imposing attorney fees even though it was uncertain whether Defendant would be able to pay them. Defendant argued that a court may not order a person represented by court appointed counsel to pay attorney fees if that person is unable to pay for them. ORS 161.665(4). The Court agreed and held that the lower court erred when it ordered Defendant to pay attorney fees when it would be impossible for him to pay them. Attorney fee award reversed; otherwise affirmed.