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The People v. Belli Saelee

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA THIRD APPELLATE DISTRICT (Sacramento)


April 26, 2012

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
BELLI SAELEE, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.

(Super. Ct. No. 11F03689)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mauro , J.

P. v. Saelee CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Defendant Belli Saelee pleaded no contest to assault with force likely to cause serious bodily injury. He contends the trial court erred in ordering him to pay a jail booking fee and a jail classification fee, because there is insufficient evidence that he has the ability to pay those fees.

The Attorney General agrees with defendant's contention, and we do too. We will reverse the judgment as to the jail booking fee and the jail classification fee and remand for a hearing on defendant's ability to pay. We will otherwise affirm the judgment.

BACKGROUND

The background information is limited because there was no presentencing report. Defendant pleaded no contest to assaulting his father with force likely to cause serious bodily injury. (Pen. Code, § 245, subd. (a)(1); count one.) Consistent with the plea agreement, the trial court suspended imposition of sentence, placed defendant on probation for five years, and dismissed count two.

At the sentencing hearing, defense counsel objected to certain fees, including the jail booking fee and the jail classification fee, on the ground that defendant had no ability to pay them. Defense counsel noted that defendant was "choosing to do his time in custody for the very reason that he cannot afford the home detention program." The trial court nonetheless ordered defendant to pay various fines and fees, including a $340 jail booking fee and a $62 jail classification fee pursuant to Government Code section 29550.2. The trial court did not make an express finding that defendant had the ability to pay those fees.

DISCUSSION

The jail booking fee and jail classification fee are discretionary and may only be ordered if the trial court finds that the defendant has an ability to pay them. (Gov. Code, § 29550.2, subd. (a); People v. Pacheco (2010) 187 Cal.App.4th 1392, 1399-1400 (Pacheco).) Such a finding can be implied, but defendant's ability to pay must be supported by substantial evidence. (Pacheco, supra, 187 Cal.App.4th at p. 1400; People v. Staley (1992) 10 Cal.App.4th 782, 785.) On review, we resolve all inferences and conflicts in favor of the judgment, and we determine whether there is "substantial evidence of solid value . . . which will support the trial court's decision." (People v. Kurey (2001) 88 Cal.App.4th 840, 848-849, fn. omitted.)

Although the trial court did not make an express finding that defendant had the ability to pay the fees, a finding of ability to pay can be implied from the fact that the trial court ordered defendant to pay the fees. The problem, however, is that there is no evidence in the appellate record to support an implied finding that defendant has an ability to pay the fees. There was no inquiry into defendant's ability to pay and the record contains no information about defendant's age, education, or his present or future financial circumstances.

The Attorney General concedes the error and urges this court to remand the matter to the trial court with directions to determine defendant's ability to pay. (Pacheco, supra, 187 Cal.App.4th at pp. 1399-1400.) We will do so.

DISPOSITION

The judgment is reversed as to the $340 jail booking fee and the $62 jail classification fee. The matter is remanded to the trial court with directions to determine, in accordance with the applicable statutes, defendant's ability to pay those fees before imposing them, and to prepare corrected minutes as appropriate. The judgment is otherwise affirmed.

We concur: HULL , Acting P. J. BUTZ , J.

20120426

© 1992-2012 VersusLaw Inc.



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