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People v. Maxon

February 07, 2001


Appeal from Circuit Court of Jersey County Nos. 98CF14 98CF36 98CF43 98CF45 98CF60 98CF61 98CF62 98CF63 98CF64 98CF65 98CF66 98CF67 98CF68 98CM283 Honorable Thomas G. Russell, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Garman

Intervenor James Segrist appeals an order of the circuit court of Jersey County denying his motion to vacate a portion of a probation order. That order applied a cash bond posted by Segrist to appointed counsel fees incurred by defendant, Clifford Maxon. We affirm.


The State charged Maxon with numerous felony offenses. In March 1998, the trial court appointed counsel to represent Maxon. On May 29, 1998, appellant James Segrist, M.D., posted a cash bond for Maxon in the amount of $24,500. The written bail bond did not reflect the source of these funds. On June 26, 1998, a bond assignment was executed by Maxon to Segrist. On December 23, 1998, Maxon entered a negotiated plea of guilty and was placed on probation. Conditions included payment of a probation fee of $150, restitution of $4,940, and a fine of $500. The written order of probation provided that all costs, fines, restitution, and attorney fees were to be paid from the bond posted. The trial court ordered appointed counsel to submit an affidavit of time spent in representing Maxon. Counsel's affidavit stated that counsel spent a total of 427.25 hours on Maxon's behalf. In his motion for payment of fees filed on February 11, 1999, counsel stated that he charged $45 per hour for his time. He multiplied his time spent by his hourly charge and asked for fees of $19,226.25 and costs advanced of $54.70, for a total award of $19,280.95.

On January 11, 1999, Segrist filed a motion to vacate a portion of the probation order, alleging that no reimbursement for public defender fees should have been taken from the bond posted. Segrist relied on section 113-3.1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (Code) (725 ILCS 5/113-3.1 (West 1998)), which states in pertinent part:

"(a) Whenever under either [s]section 113-3 of this Code or Rule 607 of the Illinois Supreme Court the court appoints counsel to represent a defendant, the court may order the defendant to pay to the [c]lerk of the [c]circuit [c]court a reasonable sum to reimburse either the county or the State for such representation. In a hearing to determine the amount of the payment, the court shall consider the affidavit prepared by the defendant under [s]section 113-3 of this Code and any other information pertaining to the defendant's financial circumstances which may be submitted by the parties.

Such hearing shall be conducted on the court's own motion or on motion of the State's Attorney at any time after the appointment of counsel but no later than 90 days after the entry of a final order disposing of the case at the trial level.

(b) Any sum ordered paid under this [s]section may not exceed $500 for a defendant charged with a misdemeanor, $5,000 for a defendant charged with a felony, or $2,500 for a defendant who is appealing a conviction of any class offense.

(c) The method of any payment required under this [s]section shall be as specified by the [trial] [c]court. The court may order that payments be made on a monthly basis during the term of representation; however, the sum deposited as money bond shall not be used to satisfy this court order. Any sum deposited as money bond with the [c]lerk of the [c]circuit [c]court under [s]section 110-7 of this Code may be used in the court's discretion in whole or in part to comply with any payment order entered in accordance with paragraph (a) of this [s]section. The court may give special consideration to the interests of relatives or other third parties who may have posted a money bond on the behalf of the defendant to secure his release. At any time prior to full payment of any payment order the court on its own motion or the motion of any party may reduce, increase, or suspend the ordered payment, or modify the method of payment, as the interest of fairness may require. No increase, suspension, or reduction may be ordered without a hearing and notice to all parties."

Segrist attached to his motion a copy of a cashier's check for $24,500 made payable to the circuit clerk, showing Segrist as the remitter thereof. Segrist alleged that, because Maxon had previously been found to be indigent and his bond was posted by a third party, no reimbursement for the services of the public defender should have been made from the bond. The motion asked the trial court to vacate that portion of its order providing for payment of attorney fees from the bond.

The State filed a motion to dismiss Segrist's motion, alleging that the payment of attorney fees from Maxon's bond was part of the plea agreement reached between Maxon and the State. Since Segrist was not a party to that agreement, he lacked standing to challenge the trial court's December 23, 1998, probation order.

On February 17, 1999, the trial court denied the State's motion to dismiss and denied Segrist's motion on the merits. The court entered a reimbursement order, finding the entire bond subject to application toward payment of costs, fines, restitution, probation fees, and attorney fees. On that same date, appointed counsel's motion for payment of fees and expenses was allowed and the amounts ordered paid from the bond.

On March 3, 1999, Segrist filed a motion to reconsider, which was denied. In denying the motion, the trial court stated that it chose to exercise its discretion in favor of the plea negotiation. The court suggested that Segrist was naive in posting such a large bond and believing that he would get the money back. The court stated its belief that Segrist was not entitled to a return of the bond money over the rights of the public defender and the circuit clerk's office. Segrist appealed.

In an order entered under Supreme Court Rule 23 (166 Ill. 2d R. 23), this court (1) vacated the trial court's denial of Segrist's motion to vacate; (2) vacated that portion of the probation order that required attorney fees to be deducted from the cash bond; (3) vacated the trial court's reimbursement order; and (4) remanded for a hearing pursuant to People v. Love, 177 Ill. 2d 550, 563, 687 N.E.2d 32, 38 (1997), with directions that the trial court consider Maxon's financial circumstances, the reasonableness of any reimbursement, the reasonableness of the public defender's fee and what, if any, consideration should be given to Segrist's ...

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