Circuit Court LC No. 2015-003665-FH
Circuit Court LC No. 15-008538-FH
Before: Sawyer, P.J., and Murray and Gleicher, JJ.
Docket No. 332735, defendant Shenoskey pled guilty to
operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, third offense,
MCL 257.625(9)(c), and was sentenced to 18 months to 5 years
in prison. In Docket No. 333375, defendant Crawford pled
guilty to possession with intent to deliver marijuana, MCL
333.7401(2)(d)(iii), and was sentenced to 2 years'
probation. Both appeal by leave granted. This Court, on its
own motion, consolidated the appeals. We affirm.
these cases raise questions of constitutional and statutory
interpretation. Constitutional questions are reviewed de
novo, People v. Harper, 479, Mich. 599, 610; 739
N.W.2d 523 (2007), as are matters of statutory construction.
People v Kern, 288 Mich.App. 513, 516; 794 N.W.2d
362 (2010). Additionally, none of the issues raised by
defendants were properly preserved for appeal, so we review
these issues for plain error. People v. Carines, 460
Mich. 750, 763; 597 N.W.2d 130 (1999).
Shenoskey's sole issue on appeal is that the $68 dollars
in costs imposed under MCL 769.1j is an unconstitutional tax
that violates separation of powers, Const 1963, art 3, §
2, and is in violation of Const 1963, art 4, § 32. We
disagree. MCL 769.1j(1)(a) provides as follows:
Beginning October 1, 2003, if the court orders a person
convicted of an offense to pay any combination of a fine,
costs, or applicable assessments, the court shall order that
the person pay costs of not less than the following amount,
(a) $68.00, if the defendant is convicted of a felony.
initially argues that he was not subject to the imposition of
these costs because he was not sentenced to a combination of
"a fine, costs, or applicable assessments." We
disagree. The trial court imposed a crime victims' rights
assessment, court costs, attorney fees and other unspecified
costs. Therefore, a combination of fines, costs and other
assessments were imposed, thus making defendant subject to
turn to defendant's primary claim, that MCL 769.1j(1)(a)
is unconstitutional. Defendant first argues that the statute
violates separation of powers under Const 1963, art 3, §
2. We disagree. We find guidance in this Court's recent
decision in People v. Cameron, __Mich App
__;__N.W.2d __(No. 330876, rel'd 4/4/2017), which
considered the same argument with regards to a closely
related statute, MCL 769.1k(1)(b)(iii). For the same reasons
that Cameron found MCL 769.1k(1)(b)(iii) to be a
tax, we conclude that the costs imposed under MCL
769.1j(1)(a) are also a tax. Cameron, slip op at
9-11, also addressed the separation of powers issue. We agree
with the Court's observation that "even if our
Legislature delegated some of its taxing authority to the
circuit courts, the Michigan Constitution does not require an
absolute separation of powers." Cameron, slip
op at 10. In sum, we conclude that the analysis of the
separation of powers issue in Cameron applies
equally here and, for those reasons, we reject
defendant makes a brief argument that MCL 769.1j(1)(a) also
violates the requirement of Const 1963, art 4, § 32 that
"[e]very law which imposes, continues or revives a tax
shall distinctly state the tax." Again, Cameron,
slip op at 7-9, considered and rejected this argument.
For the same reasons, we do so as well.
we note that defendant also argues that MCL 769.1j(1)(a) is
problematic because it states that the cost imposed shall be
"not less than" $68 without providing guidance to
the trial court for imposing a greater amount. We need not
address this point because in this case the trial court
imposed the minimum assessment of $68.
Crawford raises two challenges to his sentence. First, he
argues that the trial court erred in failing to consider his
income at the time it ...