Certiorari to the Colorado Court of Appeals. Court of Appeals Case No. 09CA2081.
The supreme court holds that a trial court may not authorize a refund of costs, fees, and restitution to a defendant after his conviction is vacated and the prosecution elects not to retry him, unless it has statutory authority to do so. None of the statutes governing the costs, fees, and restitution imposed in this case empower a trial court to issue a refund. Similarly, procedural rules for defendants seeking post-conviction relief do not address the possibility of a court-ordered refund from public funds. Therefore, a trial court does not have authority under these statutes and rules to issue a refund. Exonerated defendants may only seek a refund of costs, fees, and restitution through a separate civil proceeding governed by sections 13-65-101 to -103, C.R.S. (2015).
For Petitioner: Cynthia H. Coffman, Attorney General, John J. Fuerst III, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Denver, Colorado.
For Respondent: Douglas K. Wilson, Public Defender, Ned R. Jaeckle, Deputy Public Defender, Denver, Colorado.
HOOD, JUSTICE dissents.
GABRIEL, JUSTICE does not participate.
RICE, CHIEF JUSTICE.
[¶1] This case requires us to decide whether the trial court had authority to refund costs, fees, and restitution that Respondent Louis Alonzo Madden had paid following his conviction. Madden's conviction was vacated and the prosecution elected not to retry him. None of the statutes governing the costs, fees, and restitution that Madden was ordered to pay address whether the court may draw on those funds. Similarly, procedural rules for defendants seeking post-conviction relief do not address whether a court may order refunds from public funds. Madden did not pursue a refund through the procedures defined in the Exoneration Act, which provides statutory authority for a trial court to issue a refund. Therefore, the trial court did not have statutory authority to order a refund from public funds in this case.
I. Facts and Procedural History
[¶2] In 2005, Madden was convicted of attempting to patronize a prostituted child and attempted third degree sexual assault by force. See § § 18-2-101, 18-7-406(1), C.R.S. (2015); 18-3-404, C.R.S. (1999). Madden was originally sentenced to an indeterminate sentence and was ordered to pay costs, fees, and restitution. Specifically, the trial court ordered Madden to pay the following costs and fees: (1) $125.00 to the victim compensation fund, (2) $125.00 to the victims and witnesses assistance and law enforcement fund (referred to as the " VAST" fund in the Register of Actions and this opinion), (3) $30.00 for court costs, (4) $45.00 for a drug standardized assessment, (5) $25.00 for drug testing, (6) $1,000.00 for a special advocate surcharge, (7) $2,000.00 for a sex offender surcharge, (8) $128.00 to the sex offender identification fund, and (9) a " time payment fee" of $25.00. He was also ordered to pay $910.00 in restitution, bringing the total owed to $4,413.00.
[¶3] On appeal, we reviewed Madden's case and reversed his conviction of attempting to patronize a prostituted child, leaving only his attempted sexual assault conviction intact.
People v. Madden, 111 P.3d 452, 460 (Colo. 2005). We remanded to the court of appeals, which then returned the case to the trial court with instructions to impose a determinate sentence. People v. Madden, No. 02CA0024, slip op. at 4 (Colo.App. July 21, 2005). The trial court sentenced Madden to prison for three years, with credit for time served.
[¶4] Madden then filed a pro se motion under Crim. P. 35(c), alleging ineffective assistance of trial counsel. The trial court appointed counsel and, after an evidentiary hearing, granted the motion and vacated Madden's conviction. The prosecution elected not to appeal the order or retry the case. Shortly thereafter, Madden requested that he no longer be required to register as a sex offender and that the court refund the costs, fees, and restitution that he had paid. Madden had paid $1,220.00 toward the costs and fees and $757.75 in restitution, for a total of $1,977.75. The trial court determined that the amount that Madden had paid toward costs and fees should be returned, so Madden received a $1,220.00 refund. The restitution money, however, had been paid to the
counseling service that the victim used and could not be returned. The trial court reasoned that the counseling service could sue the victim to recover that money, and the victim should not be required to return the restitution money. Madden appealed.
[¶5] The court of appeals reversed the trial court's decision, holding that Madden was " entitled to a refund of the restitution that he paid in connection with his vacated conviction and that he may seek such a refund from the state in the context of this case."
People v. Madden, 2013 COA 56, ¶ 1, __ P.3d __. The People then petitioned this court for certiorari, asking whether the trial court may order a refund of restitution. We granted certiorari to ...