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State Citation Question Brief answer Language from the opinion When does the case apply?
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Minnesota Perkins v. State, 559 N.W. 2d 678, 692-93 (1997)
Under state constitutional or statutory law, what are the minimum requirements for a constitutionally adequate ability-to-pay determination? Include any guidance about the substantive standards to apply, the burden of proof,
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the sources of information that should be considered, and the timing of the determination (i.e. before imposition, before enforcement action, only if incarceration is threatened).
In terms of timeline, at least, the sentencing judge need not specifically find that defendant has ability to pay fine before imposing it as part of sentence.
In State v. Martinson, the court of appeals analyzed its prior decisions requiring sentencing judges to consider a defendant's ability to pay before imposing costs of prosecution, and held that
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similar findings should be made before imposing a fine. 460 N.W.2d 342, 344 (Minn.App.1990), pet. for rev. denied (Minn., Oct. 25, 1990). The Martinson court noted that requiring such findings was consistent with the recommendations of the A.B.A. Standards for Criminal Justice. Id. at 343; see 3 A.B.A. Standards for Criminal Justice § 18-2.7 (1979). But in a subsequent case, the court of appeals held that a sentencing judge need not make findings as to a defendant's ability to pay a fine unless the judge decides to reduce the amount of the fine below the statutory minimum for the offense. State v. Patterson, 511 N.W.2d 476, 479 (Minn.App.1994), pet. for rev. denied (Minn., Mar. 31, 1994). Then, in State v. Lambert, 392 N.W.2d 242 (1986), the court of appeals affirmed the Patterson court's decision that a sentencing judge need not determine a defendant's ability to pay the statutory minimum fine. 547 N.W.2d 446, 447-48 (Minn.App.1996). Most recently, the court of appeals held that when a sentencing judge imposes a fine between the statutory maximum and the statutory minimum, the judge must find that the defendant is able to pay the fine. State v. Salinas, No. C6-96-180, slip. op. at 4 (Minn.App., filed Sept. 17, 1996). Perkins v. State, 559 N.W. 2d 678, 692-93 (1997).
Ability to pay
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Minnesota State v. Tennin, 674 N.W. 2d 403, 408 (2004) Are there limits to the state’s ability to recoup fees for counsel under the state constitution? Any statute creating a co-payment obligation upon appointment of public defender violates indigent defendant's right to counsel under state and federal Constitutions.
Nonetheless, the requirement to repay costs of counsel is not without limit. In analyzing a recoupment statute from the State of Oregon, the United States Supreme Court held that Oregon's statute requiring an individual
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to reimburse the state for the services of a public defender was in line with the Sixth Amendment where “[t]hose who remain indigent or for whom repayment would work ‘manifest hardship’ are forever exempt from any obligation to repay.” Id. The question thus arises, does Minn.Stat. § 611.17, subd. 1 (c) (Supp.2003), which states that “[u]pon appointment of the public defender, an individual who receives public defender services shall be obligated to pay to the court a co-payment for representation provided by a public defender,” exempt persons who remain indigent or for whom repayment of the co-payment would work a manifest hardship? The answer to this question is critical to our analysis of the certified question. State v. Tennin, 674 N.W. 2d 403, 408 (2004) (quoting Fuller v. Oregon, 417 U.S. 40, 53, 94 (1974)).
Ability to pay
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Minnesota State v. Palubicki, 727 N.W. 2d 662 (2007) Other applicable caselaw
Trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering defendant to pay restitution to murder victim's adult children for expenses arising from their voluntary attendance at murder trial, as their
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claimed expenses resulted from the crime; abrogating In re Welfare of D.D.G., 532 N.W.2d 279, State v. DeGrote, 2004 WL 556946. M.S.A. §§ 611A.04(1)(a), 611A.01(b).
Fines and fees
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Minnesota State v. Lopez-Solis, 589 N.W. 2d 290, 205 (1999) Costs incurred by a medical examiner in conducting an autopsy, preparing an autopsy report, and testifying at trial are not recoverable under the prosecution costs statute
Lopez–Solis argues that the costs of a medical examiner conducting an autopsy, preparing an autopsy report, and testifying at trial are costs that should not be imposed against a criminal defendant
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following conviction. Lopez–Solis contends that because the legislature requires county sheriffs to report all violent deaths to the medical examiner and because it is within the medical examiner's discretion whether to conduct an autopsy, the medical examiner should be viewed as an independent party. See Minn.Stat. § 390.32 (1996). We agree with Lopez–Solis that expenses incurred by medical examiners in conducting an autopsy, preparing an autopsy report, and testifying at trial may not be imposed against a criminal defendant following conviction. These services are provided independent of a criminal prosecution and therefore are not recoverable. Therefore, the $1,200 awarded by the trial court for Dr. Roe's trial testimony is reversed. State v. Lopez-Solis, 589 N.W. 2d 290, 205 (1999)
Fines and fees
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Minnesota State v. Fader, 358 N.W. 2d 42, 48 (1984)
Criminal sexual abuse defendant was entitled to vacation of an order requiring him to make $10,000 restitution, with the matter remanded to the trial court for reconsideration, where there was
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no factual showing of economic loss to the victim and her family in that amount. M.S.A. § 609.342(a).
The court may condition probation on restitution “when practicable.” Minn.Stat. § 609.135, subd. 1 (1982). Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines and Commentary, III.A.2. (1983) urges judges to make expanded use of restitution
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as a condition of probation, especially for persons with short criminal history scores convicted of property crimes, adding that the use of restitution may be appropriate in other cases also. In our opinion, the word “restitution” connotes restoring or compensating the victim for his loss. If the legislature intended the term to be used more loosely, as a form of punitive damages, it should have used some other word or made its particular use of the word clearer. The record indicates that defendant, although with some difficulty, is able to pay the $10,000, but the record does not provide a factual basis for the restitution award. Under the circumstances, we remand the case to the trial court for reconsideration, at which time the parties may present evidence bearing on the issue of economic loss to the victim and her family. We add that any decision by the trial court to award restitution does not by itself bar the victim and her family from independently seeking damages from defendant in a separate civil action, although any restitution awarded in this proceeding would operate as a setoff against any award obtained in such an action. State v. Fader, 358 N.W. 2d 42, 48 (1984)
Ability to pay
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Minnesota Hopp v. Hopp, 156 N.W.2d 212, 216 (1968)
Trial judge has measure of authority and discretion in civil contempt proceedings, particularly in divorce cases where alimony and support are ordered, far in excess of that existing in criminal
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cases because of limited and essential purpose of civil contempt proceedings.
The process by which this power is exercised is termed a civil contempt proceeding. The distinctive quality of a civil, as distinguished from a criminal, contempt is that of purpose.
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In exercising civil contempt powers in divorce cases, the only objective is to secure compliance with an order presumed to be reasonable. Punishment for past misconduct is not involved; that is a field reserved to criminal proceedings of which criminal contempt is one example. Peterson v. Peterson, Minn., 153 N.W.2d 825; Zieman v. Zieman, 265 Minn. 190, 121 N.W.2d 77; 17 C.J.S. Contempt ss 5(2) to 7. Because of the limited and essential purpose of civil contempt proceedings, particularly in divorce cases where alimony and support are ordered, we must recognize here a measure of authority and discretion in the trial judge far in excess of that which exists in criminal cases. In civil contempt, the function of the court is to make the rights of one individual as against another meaningful. When the duty is performed, the concern of the court is satisfied. If the duty is one specifically defined by a proper decree of the court, it must be free to compel performance by methods with are speedy, efficient, and sufficiently flexible to meet the problem at hand. Particularly in support cases, the proper discharge of the judge's responsibilities should not be frustrated by delay and formalism. Hopp v. Hopp, 156 N.W.2d 212, 216 (1968)
Enforcement