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People v. Juntikka

Court of Appeals of Michigan

April 21, 2015

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JASON THOMAS JUNTIKKA, Defendant-Appellant.

Houghton Circuit Court LC No. 2013-002677-FH

Before: O'Connell, P.J., and Fort Hood and Gadola, JJ.

Gadola, J.

At issue in this case is whether a trial court properly imposed a $100 probation enhancement fee upon defendant under MCL 771.3. Because we conclude that MCL 771.3(2)(d) does not independently authorize trial courts to impose any assessment, and because we conclude that the probation enhancement fee was not statutorily authorized as a cost specifically incurred in defendant's case, we vacate the portion of the court's order imposing the probation enhancement fee and remand for further proceedings.

I. BACKGROUND

On January 23, 2013, defendant pleaded guilty to one count of failing to register as a sex offender, MCL 28.729. The trial court sentenced defendant to a five-year probationary term and 12 months in the county jail. The court additionally ordered defendant to pay several financial charges, including a $100 probation enhancement fee.

On August 6, 2013, defendant filed a motion for resentencing, contending, among other things, that the $100 probation enhancement fee was improper because it was an unauthorized assessment. The court denied defendant's motion, explaining that the probation enhancement fee covered items including "gloves so that the probation agents may test bodily fluids more safely" and "cell phones so that [agents] can quickly respond to issues that may arise." The trial court concluded that because defendant was on probation, the fee rendered him a potential benefit and so fell within the ambit of MCL 771.3(2)(d).

Following the denial of his motion, defendant filed an application for leave to appeal to this Court, which was denied. People v Juntikka, unpublished order of the Court of Appeals, entered December 6, 2013 (Docket No. 318300). Defendant then filed an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. In lieu of granting leave to appeal, the Supreme Court remanded the case to this Court for reconsideration as on leave granted in light of its decision in People v Cunningham, 496 Mich. 145; 852 N.W.2d 118 (2014). People v Juntikka, __Mich__; 846 N.W.2d 401 (2014). Accordingly, we now consider whether the trial court exceeded its statutory authority by imposing a $100 probation enhancement fee upon defendant.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

We review issues of statutory interpretation de novo. People v Akins, 259 Mich.App. 545, 551; 675 N.W.2d 863 (2003).

III. PRINCIPLES OF STATUTORY INTERPRETATION

When interpreting a statute, the primary goal is to discern and give effect to the intent of the Legislature. Koontz v Ameritech Servs, Inc, 466 Mich. 304, 312; 645 N.W.2d 34 (2002). In giving meaning to a statutory provision, we consider the provision within the context of the whole statute and "give effect to every word, phrase, and clause . . . [to] avoid an interpretation that would render any part of the statute surplusage or nugatory." State Farm Fire & Cas Co v Old Republic Ins Co, 466 Mich. 142, 146; 644 N.W.2d 715 (2002). When statutory terms are undefined, we interpret the terms according to their plain and ordinary meaning, and may consult dictionary definitions to accomplish this task. Koontz, 466 Mich. at 312.

IV. ANALYSIS

Courts may only impose costs in a criminal case when such costs are authorized by statute. Cunningham, 496 Mich. at 149; People v Dilworth, 291 Mich.App. 399, 400; 804 N.W.2d 788 (2011). MCL 771.3 governs what conditions a trial court may impose during ...


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