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People v. Wade

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

September 14, 2016

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DONALD JEROME WADE, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 10th Judicial Circuit, Peoria County, Illinois, Circuit No. 12-CF-115 Honorable Kevin Lyons, Judge, Presiding.

          JUSTICE SCHMIDT delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Carter and Lytton concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          SCHMIDT JUSTICE.

         ¶ 1 Defendant, Donald Jerome Wade, argues on appeal that the circuit clerk improperly assessed fines against him and asks that this cause be remanded for proper entry of an order of enumerated costs. This court originally and unanimously vacated the fines improperly imposed by the clerk. With one dissent, this court remanded to have the trial court impose mandatory fines. Defendant filed a petition for rehearing asking this court to adopt the dissent's position that we should not remand for imposition of the void fines. We granted rehearing. The State answered, agreeing with defendant that there should be no remand. We vacate the fines imposed by the circuit clerk, but do not remand for the reimposition of said fines by the trial court.

         ¶ 2 FACTS

         ¶ 3 Defendant pled guilty to retail theft (720 ILCS 5/16-25(a)(1) (West 2012)). The court sentenced defendant to a term of 5½ years' imprisonment. The circuit court ordered that defendant be given credit for time served in custody prior to sentencing from February 2 to February 4, 2012, and from December 31, 2012, to January 4, 2013. The circuit court imposed no fines, but ordered that a judgment for costs be entered against defendant.

         ¶ 4 Defense counsel filed a motion to reconsider sentence but did not file a Rule 604(d) certificate. Ill. S.Ct. R. 604(d) (eff. Feb. 6, 2013). The circuit court denied the motion. Defendant filed a notice of appeal on July 23, 2013.

         ¶ 5 A sheet entitled "History Payments" appears in the record. A certification on the payments sheet is dated October 25, 2013, is signed by a deputy circuit clerk, and bears the seal of the circuit court of Peoria County. The payments sheet contains the correct case number but lists the date as December 31, 1994. The payments sheet lists the total assessments as $921.50. The sheet indicated that no money was currently owing. Each individual assessment is identified by a four-letter code. The assessments and corresponding codes included: (1) $100 CLRK; (2) $10 MAIL; (3) $30 STAT; (4) $25 CRTP; (5) $0.25 CADM; (6) $10 DRGO; (7) $15 SPMB; (8) $15 AUTO; (9) $2 STAU; (10) $100 VIOL; (11) $50 CRTU; (12) $10 CADF; (13) $447 SHER; (14) $10 PROP; (15) $15 DOCS; (16) $10 SAOJ; (17) $10 SPSF; (18) $10 MEDI; (19) $4.75 DCRT; (20) $15 SPOA; and (21) $32.50 SCHG.

         ¶ 6 On appeal, we remanded this cause to the circuit court for further postplea proceedings, including the filing of a new postplea motion and a Rule 604(d) certificate. People v. Wade, No. 3-13-0542 (Feb. 9, 2015) (dispositional order).

         ¶ 7 On remand, defendant filed a motion to withdraw guilty plea, and a motion to reconsider sentence. Defendant's motion to reconsider sentence raised no issue with the monetary assessments in the payments sheet. Defense counsel also filed a Rule 604(d) certificate. The circuit court denied defendant's motions.

         ¶ 8 ANALYSIS

         ¶ 9 In the instant appeal, defendant initially argued that this cause must be remanded for a proper entry of an order of enumerated fines and fees. Defendant cited four reasons why remand is necessary: (1) the circuit clerk imposed certain fines; (2) the payments sheet inexplicably bears a date of December 31, 1994; (3) the authorization of some of the assessments is not clear from the record; and (4) defendant did not receive credit for the time he spent in presentence custody. We issued an opinion with a partial dissent, granting the relief requested. Defendant filed a petition for rehearing asking this court to adopt the dissent's view that we are without authority to remand for the imposition of fines. We granted rehearing. The State concedes the issue. Because we find that some of the assessments imposed by the circuit clerk were fines and therefore void, we vacate said fines. We are without authority, however, to remand for the trial court to do what it should have done at sentencing: impose mandatory fines. See Ill. S.Ct. R. 615(b)(4); People v. Castleberry, 2015 IL 116916.

         ¶ 10 "Because the imposition of a fine is a judicial act, and the circuit clerk has no authority to levy fines, any fines imposed by the circuit clerk are void from their inception." People v. Larue, 2014 IL App (4th) 120595, ¶ 56; see also People v. Hible, 2016 IL App (4th) 131096, ¶¶ 9-11. Fines and fees are distinct types of assessments. Hible, 2016 IL App (4th) 131096, ¶ 14. "A fee is a charge designed to recoup the State's expenses while a fine ' "is a pecuniary punishment imposed as part of a sentence on a person convicted of a criminal offense." ' " Id. (quoting People v. Warren, 2014 IL App (4th) 120721, ¶ 86, quoting People v. Graves, 235 Ill.2d 244, 250 (2009)). While the circuit clerk may levy fees, only the trial court may impose fines on a defendant. Id.

         ¶ 11 Fines are part of a criminal sentence. People v. Graves, 235 Ill.2d 244, 250 (2009). In Castleberry, our supreme court held that the appellate court may not increase a sentence on appeal, even one that is illegally low. Castleberry, 2015 IL 116916, ¶ 26. The Castleberry court concluded that the only ...


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