Appeal from Sedgwick District Court; Clark V. Owens II, Judge. Shawn E. Minihan, of Kansas Appellate Defender Office, for appellant. David Lowden, chief attorney, appellate division, Marc Bennett, district attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, for appellee.
Appeal from Sedgwick District Court; Clark V. Owens II, Judge.
Shawn E. Minihan, of Kansas Appellate Defender Office, for appellant. David Lowden, chief attorney, appellate division, Marc Bennett, district attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, for appellee.
Before BUSER, P.J., McANANY and POWELL, JJ.
Shauntus L. Griffith appeals the district court's order requiring him to reimburse $300 in Board of Indigents' Defense Services (BIDS) attorney fees. Griffith contends the district court failed to make appropriate findings under K.S.A. 22–4513 and State v. Robinson, 281 Kan. 538, 132 P.3d 934 (2006). We vacate the order and remand for reconsideration of the BIDS fees.
Factual and Procedural Background
Griffith was sentenced to 34 months in prison, with 12 months of postrelease supervision. During the sentencing hearing, the following colloquy occurred:
“[THE COURT]: And then the appellate court wants the trial courts to evaluate the feasibility of ordering reimbursement to the State Board of Indigent['s] Defense Services. So what is the defendant's financial circumstances?
“[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Well, I mean the most significant one at the moment is he's getting ready to go to the penitentiary for 2–1/2 years or so.
“THE COURT: But he will be on post-release for 12 months. They will have an opportunity during that supervision time period to be collecting some attorney fees. Well, why don't I reduce it down. Let's make it $300 instead of the $750 because there's really not that much unless there's restitution.
“... I think some attorney fees is reasonable for him to have to pay. The taxpayer[s] shouldn't have to pay it all without reimbursement. So let's make it a $300 assessment instead of the [$]750 that the State board requests.”
The district court ordered Griffith to pay $300 in BIDS attorney fees. Griffith appeals the order.
Reimbursement of BIDS Attorney Fees
Griffith contends the district court erred by failing to adequately consider and state on the record his financial resources and the nature of the burden BIDS payments would have upon him as required by K.S.A. 22–4513 and Robinson. The State responds that the district court's order was sufficient, especially under the circumstances of Griffith's impending imprisonment. Our court has unlimited review of this issue. 281 Kan. at 539.
K.S.A. 22–4513 generally requires that a defendant who received services of appointed defense counsel and is convicted shall reimburse the State for those services. In Robinson, our Supreme Court reviewed K.S.A. 22–4513 and held that the sentencing court, at the time of initial assessment, must consider the financial resources of the defendant and the nature of the burden that payment will impose explicitly, stating on the record how those factors have been weighed in the court's decision. 281 Kan. at 546.
As shown by the colloquy above, the district court's general question about Griffith's financial circumstances did not fulfill the requirements that the court make findings of fact on the record regarding Griffith's finances, the potential burden those BIDS attorney fees might place on him, or how those factors were considered in the court's decision to reduce the BIDS attorney fees.
The State maintains that the district court's reduction of Griffith's BIDS attorney fees shows that it made a sufficient inquiry. This is especially true, according to the State, because Griffith was sentenced to imprisonment.
Our Supreme Court has not altered the applicability of Robinson depending on whether the requested BIDS reimbursement was reduced or whether the defendant was to serve time in prison rather than on probation. See State v. Wade, 295 Kan. 916, 927–28, 287 P.3d 237 (2012) (applying Robinson when Wade was sentenced to 25 years in prison). In State v. Gasper, No. 101,874, 2010 WL 4156739 at *2 (Kan.App.2010) (unpublished opinion), our court found that neither K.S.A. 22–4513 nor Robinson provided a different standard for the district court's inquiries depending on whether the defendant was sentenced to prison rather than probation. Quite simply, K.S.A. 22–4513 and Robinson 's guidance is mandatory and must be followed regardless of whether the district court reduces the claimed amount of BIDS attorney fees or sentences the defendant to imprisonment.
We do not read Robinson as imposing an unduly burdensome requirement on the district court. For example, in the present case, in order to obtain court-appointed counsel, Griffith completed and submitted a financial affidavit which set forth considerable information regarding his employment, rate of pay, receipt of public assistance, ownership of real and personal property, living expenses, and his ability to pay attorney fees. If the district court had asked Griffith whether the information contained in this financial affidavit was still current and accurate and then had briefly stated on the record how the court had weighed those factors in arriving at the court's ruling regarding reimbursement, the requisites of K.S.A. 22–4513 and Robinson would have been met.
The district court's brief inquiry into Griffith's financial circumstances did not fulfill the requirements of K.S.A. 21–4513 as interpreted by Robinson. Accordingly, we vacate the order regarding BIDS attorney fees and remand for a rehearing. See Robinson, 281 Kan. at 546–47.
Vacated and remanded with directions.