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In re Killich

Court of Appeals of Michigan

April 20, 2017

In re TAYLOR ANNE KILLICH.
v.
TAYLOR ANNE KILLICH, Respondent-Appellant. PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, Petitioner-Appellee,

         Washtenaw Circuit Court LC No. 14-000567-DL

          Before: M.J. Kelly, P.J., and Stephens and O'Brien, JJ.

          Stephens, J.

         Respondent, minor Taylor Anne Killich, appeals as of right the trial court order dismissing a petition against her for poisoning food, drink, medicine, or water supply, MCL 750.436(2)(a), an offense punishable by imprisonment for fifteen years, a fine of $10, 000, or both, and denying her motion to waive a previously ordered $100 probation supervision fee. We vacate and remand.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Petitioner filed a delinquency proceedings petition against respondent for violating MCL 750.436(2)(a) after an incident on June 5, 2014. On May 6, 2015, respondent pleaded no contest before a referee. A probationary order was prepared in which respondent was placed on probation for a period of three months. She was ordered to complete 20 hours of community service by August 21, 2015, to participate in "the Victim Awareness class, " and submit urine screens if requested by her probation officer. Under the proposed order, respondent's probation officer could also impose an additional 20 hours of community service at his or her discretion. The court denied respondent's motion to waive a $100 probation supervision fee.

         At the sentencing hearing before the referee, respondent's counsel agreed that probation was an appropriate remedy, but objected to the $100 probation supervision fee, citing People v Juntikka, 310 Mich.App. 306; 871 N.W.2d 555 (2015). Counsel's argument was unsuccessful and he requested a review hearing before the trial court.

         At the September 23, 2015 review hearing, respondent's counsel asserted that respondent completed all probation and community service requirements, but again objected to the $100 probation supervision fee. Respondent's counsel argued that the court did not have statutory authority under the Juvenile Code to impose a pre-determined flat rate fee and that the Juvenile Code only permitted the court to be reimbursed for individualized costs of probation supervision services extended to individual juveniles.

         Petitioner argued that three statutory provisions allowed for the imposition of a probation supervision fee: 1) MCL 712A.18');">712A.18(1)(b), 2) MCL 712A.18');">712A.18(3), and 3) MCL 712A.18');">712A.18(12). Petitioner argued that MCL 712A.18');">712A.18(1)(b) required a juvenile under supervision or probation to pay the minimum state costs prescribed by statute and that as a probationer, respondent was at least required to pay a statutory minimum of $68. Petitioner also argued that MCL 712A.18');">712A.18(3) authorized orders of disposition placing a juvenile in the juvenile's own home to contain a provision for reimbursement by the juvenile to the court for the cost of service. Lastly, petitioner argued that MCL 712A.18');">712A.18(12) stated that if a court entered an order of disposition for a juvenile offense, the court "shall order" the juvenile to pay a statutory assessment defined under MCL 780.905, which in respondent's case was a fee of $130. Petitioner maintains the same on appeal.

         Petitioner also distinguished Juntikka, arguing the probation fee in that case was impermissible because it was used to purchase general probation department supplies, whereas in the present case the $100 probation supervision fee went directly to the general Washtenaw County General Fund. The court called Donna White, a probation supervisor in the juvenile court who testified that the probation office charges the same $100 probation supervision fee to all juveniles on probation and that the funds go to the county General Fund. The court acknowledged that the fee may go to the general fund but affirmed its imposition stating,

So I do think, because of the mechanism of funding and the allocation it is actually a reimbursement, whether or not the fact it goes to the general fund, whether or not the fact it is a flat albeit extremely minimal fee compared to the true cost; you may be right in that legal analysis. I will leave that to the Court of Appeals to direct us as to where we go but at this stage the motion is denied.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         This case involves the interpretation of multiple statutes contained in the Juvenile Code, MCL 712A.1et seq. Statutory interpretation is a question of law that we review de novo on appeal. In ...


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