People v. Sanders

Decision Date02 October 2012
Docket NumberDocket No. 303051.
Citation298 Mich.App. 105,825 N.W.2d 376
CourtCourt of Appeal of Michigan — District of US


Bill Schuette, Attorney General, John J. Bursch, Solicitor General, Arthur J. Cotter, Prosecuting Attorney, and Elizabeth A. Wild, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for the people.

John W. Ujlaky, for defendant.




This matter is again before us following a remand to the trial court to determine the factual basis for the amount of court costs imposed. As part of defendant's sentence, the trial court ordered the payment of $1,000 in court costs. Defendant's sole issue on appeal was a challenge to those costs, arguing that the trial court had failed to establish a factual basis for the amount of costs imposed. We affirmed the trial court's authority to impose court costs, concluding that the trial court could impose a generally reasonable amount of court costs and that those costs need not be individually calculated to reflect the costs involved in a particular case.1 We were not, however, persuaded that the trial court had established an adequate basis to use the $1,000 figure.2 We remanded the matter to the trial court to establish the reasonableness of the amount imposed. We emphasized that the amount of costs was not to be particularized in an individual case, but the court was to “factually establish the reasonable costs figure for felony cases in the Berrien Circuit Court, while affording defendant the opportunity to challenge that determination.” 3

On remand, the trial court conducted the hearing as directed and received evidence of the cost of processing a felony case in the Berrien Circuit Court. After considering the financial data submitted by the county, the trial court determined that the average cost of handling a felony case was, conservatively, $2,237.55 a case and, potentially, cases could cost as much as $4,846 each. Therefore, the trial court concluded that, because even the most conservative estimate of the cost of processing a felony far exceeded the $1,000 amount of costs imposed, there was “a reasonable relationship between the costs imposed and the actual costs incurred by the trial court.” 4

Defendant's argument in the trial court against the trial court's determination appearsprimarily to have been a continued objection to the trial court's failure to assess costs on the basis of the actual expenditure of time and money in a particular case. Defendant, in particular, argued for recognition of the distinction between the time invested in resolving a case by a plea and the time invested in conducting a trial, or, for that matter, between the time involved in a one-day trial and that involved in a three-day trial. But, as the trial court observed in its opinion, defendant was repeating an argument that we had already rejected in our earlier opinion: that the costs imposed have to be particularized to the case before the court. As we thought we had made clear in our original opinion, a trial court may impose costs “without the necessity of separately calculating the costs involved in the particular case” 5 and that is true whether a case is quickly resolved by a plea or at the conclusion of a lengthy trial.

Indeed, we...

To continue reading

Request your trial
6 cases
  • People v. Konopka
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • March 3, 2015
    ...of the costs assessed defendant.” Sanders I, 296 Mich.App. at 715, 825 N.W.2d 87. In People v. Sanders (After Remand), 298 Mich.App. 105, 108, 825 N.W.2d 376 (2012) (Sanders II ), this Court expressed satisfaction “that the trial court complied with our directives on remand and did establis......
  • People v. Buie
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • October 2, 2012
  • People v. Cunningham
    • United States
    • Michigan Supreme Court
    • June 18, 2014
    ...court costs, the Court of Appeals relied on People v. Sanders, 296 Mich.App. 710, 825 N.W.2d 87 (2012), and People v. Sanders (After Remand), 298 Mich.App. 105, 825 N.W.2d 376 (2012). However, in Sanders, the Court of Appeals assumed that MCL 769.1k(1)(b)( ii ) “authorizes the imposition of......
  • People v. Jones
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • April 25, 2013
    ...the cost of conducting a felony case in the Berrien Circuit Court, the jurisdiction of defendant's case. People v. Sanders (After Remand), 298 Mich.App. 105, 108, 825 N.W.2d 376 (2012). Affirmed.RONAYNE KRAUSE, J., concurred with HOEKSTRA, J.STEPHENS, P.J. (concurring). The majority bases i......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT