County Criminal Court: CRIMINAL LAW – Sentencing – The trial court erred in imposing discretionary costs and fees without informing Appellant he had a right to a hearing to contest the amount. Reversed and remanded with directions. Folts v. State, No. CRC0900801CFAWS, (Fla. 6th Cir.App.Ct. July 19, 2010).
NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES FOR REHEARING AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA IN AND FOR PASCO COUNTY, FLORIDA
v. UCN: 512009CF000801A000WS
Appeal No. CRC09-00801-CFAWS
Lower No. 08-4704MMAWS
STATE OF FLORIDA,
Appeal from Pasco County Court
County Judge Marc Salton
Thomas McLaughlin, Esq.
Joseph Lawhorne, A.S.A.
ORDER AND OPINION
Appellant challenges the $198 in unspecified court costs, $200 discretionary fine, and $20 surcharge on the fine. To preserve a challenge to the fees and costs, a defendant must first file a motion to correct sentencing error pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.800(b)(2). Appellant filed such a motion, which was denied. Appellant also filed an amended motion unaware that four days prior the original motion had been denied by a written order. Nonetheless, the amended motion would have been deemed denied as the trial court did not rule on the amended motion within sixty days. Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.800(b)(2)(B); Watts v. State, 973 So. 2d 1271, 1272 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008); Webster v. State, 998 So. 2d 655, 656 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008). Therefore, Appellant has properly preserved this issue for appellate review.
At the sentencing hearing, the trial court orally imposed $248.00 in court costs. Although a trial court may impose mandatory costs at sentencing without orally announcing the statutory authority, the written order must indicate the statutory authority for imposing such costs. Smith v. State, 686 So. 2d 8 (Fla. 2d DCA 1996); Reyes v. State, 655 So. 2d 111 (Fla. 2d DCA 1995). Except for $50.00, the cost of prosecution, the trial court did not specify the statutory authorities in the written sentencing order. Mandatory costs can be imposed without notice; however, discretionary costs require notice and an opportunity to object. Miller v. State, 912, So. 2d 1282 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005). It is impossible to determine whether the remaining $198.00 consists of unidentified mandatory costs, discretionary costs not properly specified at sentencing, or a combination of both. Therefore, the unidentified costs must be stricken. McGee v. State, 963 So. 2d 931 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007). On remand, the trial court may reimpose the stricken costs if it indicates the statutory authority, and regarding any discretionary fines or costs, Appellant must be given notice an opportunity to object to their imposition.
The trial court also imposed a $200 discretionary fine with a $10 surcharge. It is well settled that trial courts may not impose costs or fines unless it is specifically authorized by statute and indicated in the written order. J.S. v. State, 920 So. 2d 752 (Fla. 5th DCA 2006); Williams v. State, 674 So. 2d 885 (Fla. 2d DCA 1996). Since the written order does not specify under what authorities the fine or surcharges were imposed, they must be stricken. On remand, the trial court may reimpose any discretionary fines that are authorized by statute with written reference to the proper statutory authorities.
Appellant is given thirty days from the issuance of the mandate to file a written objection to the discretionary costs or fees. McGee v. State, 963 So. 2d 931, 932 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007). If an objection is filed, the trial court shall hold a hearing. Otherwise, if Appellant does not timely object, the trial court shall reimpose the lien without a hearing. See White v. State, 32 So. 3d 132 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010); Webster v. State, 998 So. 2d 655, 656 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008). In either scenario, the trial court must provide written authority for any discretionary costs or fees that it reimposes. Therefore, it is
REVERSED AND REMANDED.
DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers, at New Port Richey, Pasco County, Florida this 19th day of July 2010.
Original order entered on July 19, 2010 by Circuit Judges Stanley R. Mills, W. Lowell Bray, Jr., and Daniel D. Diskey.