State v. Musgrave

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Attorney Fees
  • Date Filed: 10-12-2016
  • Case #: A157499
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Lagensen, J.; & Garrett, J.

Plain error review is not appropriate for a trial court’s imposition of attorney fees when the record indicates evidence of a person's source of income, educational background, and prospect of future employment.

On appeal, Musgrave contended that the criminal trial court record was insufficient to determine that he “is or may be able” to pay the court-appointed attorney fees. Musgrave requested plain error review. The State responded that the trial court did not err because the evidence showed that Musgrave (1) graduated from high school (2) was a member of a labor union, and was still employed by the labor union, despite being recently laid off, (3) had a recent construction job, and (4) that Musgrave was not sentenced to any jail time. No plain error review should be conducted when the record includes evidence to demonstrate the defendant’s educational background, source of income, or the “prospect of future employment”. State v Zepeda, 274 OR App 401, 406, 360 P3d 715 (2015). At trial court, Musgrave did not object to the imposition of the $629 court-appointed attorney fees and requested a payment plan. The evidence on the record supported a non-speculative conclusion that Musgrave was employable, and thus, was or might have been able to pay the fees imposed by the court. Affirmed. 

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