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State v. Foos

Court of Appeals of Oregon

November 28, 2018

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
CHRISTINE LEE FOOS, Defendant-Appellant.

          Submitted October 5, 2018

          Lincoln County Circuit Court 17CR04963; Sheryl Bachart, Judge.

          Ernest G. Lannet, Chief Defender, Criminal Appellate Section, and Meredith Allen, Deputy Public Defender, Offce of Public Defense Services, fled the brief for appellant.

          Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General, and Jordan R. Silk, Assistant Attorney General, fled the brief for respondent.

          Before Lagesen, Presiding Judge, and DeVore, Judge, and James, Judge.

         Case Summary: On appeal, defendant challenges a term of the trial court's final judgment that directed that the clerk of the court shall schedule the payment of fines pursuant to ORS 161.675. Relying on the statute, defendant argues that, because the trial court imposed a sentence of incarceration and did not expressly find that defendant had the assets to pay restitution, the final judgment wording was unlawful. Held: Absent a showing that the clerk of the court was acting in a manner that did not conform to ORS 161.675, there was no error to correct on appeal. Moreover, to the extent that prior decisions have treated wording in the judgment alone-without a record that the clerk was, in fact, seeking to enforce a monetary obligation in contravention of ORS 161.675-as being reversible error, the Court of Appeals disavowed that reasoning.

         [295 Or.App. 117] JAMES, J.

         In this criminal appeal, defendant challenges a term in a judgment stating that "[p]ayment of the fines, fees, assessments, and/or attorney's fees noted in this and any subsequent Money Award shall be scheduled by the clerk of the court pursuant to ORS 161.675." According to defendant, because she was sentenced to a term of incarceration, that term in the judgment is unlawful. We do not read the judgment as imposing an unlawful monetary obligation while defendant is incarcerated, nor authorizing the imposition of a payment schedule upon her release and accordingly affirm.

         The facts underlying defendant's conviction are not relevant for our analysis on appeal, and the procedural facts are uncontested by the parties. Defendant pleaded guilty to one count of identity theft and the trial court dismissed the remaining count pursuant to negotiations. The trial court sentenced defendant to a departure sentence of 40 months of incarceration, pursuant to ORS 137.717, and imposed one year of post-prison supervision and $522 in restitution.

         When the final judgment issued it contained wording that "[p]ayment of the fines, fees, assessments, and/ or attorney's fees noted in this and any subsequent Money Award shall be scheduled by the clerk of the court pursuant to ORS 161.675." Defendant did not object to those terms appearing in the judgment because the matter did not arise during the sentencing hearing. The wording appears to have been added by the court, as a matter of routine, in the creation of the final judgment. Despite the lack of objection, the state does not dispute preservation, nor do we find the lack of objection an impediment to our review. See McCarthy v. Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc., 327 Or. 84, 95 n 6, 957 P.2d 1200 (1998) (noting that a party is not required to take action to preserve an issue that first arises when the appeals court issues its written order); see also State v. Martinez, 282 Or.App. 917, 918 n 2, 388 P.3d 433 (2016) (noting that the defendant was excused from rule of preservation when improper sentencing term that the clerk should schedule defendant's payments was not announced in open court before appearing in the judgment); State v. Lewis, 236 Or.App. 49, 52, 234 [295 Or.App. 118] P.3d 152, rev den, 349 Or. 172 (2010) (same); State v. DeCamp, 158 Or.App. 238, 241, 973 P.2d 922 (1999) ("A party cannot be required to raise an objection contemporaneously with a trial court's ruling or other action when the party was not on notice of the trial court's intended action and had no opportunity to be present when the trial court acted.").

         ORS 161.675 provides, in pertinent part:

"(1) When a defendant, as a part of a sentence or as condition of probation or suspension of sentence, is required to pay a sum of money for any purpose, the court may order payment to be made immediately or within a specified period of time or in specified installments. If a defendant is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, any part of the sentence that requires the payment of a sum of money for any purpose is enforceable during the period of imprisonment if the court expressly finds that the defendant has assets to pay all or part of the amounts ordered.
“***
"(3) When a defendant is sentenced to probation or imposition or execution of sentence is suspended and the court requires as a part of the sentence or as a condition of the probation or suspension of sentence that the defendant pay a sum of money in installments, the court, or the court clerk or parole and probation officer if so ordered by the court, shall establish a schedule of payments to satisfy the obligation. A schedule of payments shall be reviewed ...

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