from Circuit Court of Champaign County No. 15CF179 Honorable
Thomas J. Difanis, Judge Presiding.
JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.
Presiding Justice Turner and Justice Harris concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 Defendant, Reginald Scott, appeals from the denial of his
motion to withdraw his guilty plea. On appeal, defendant
argues (1) this court should remand his case to allow defense
counsel the opportunity to file a corrected certificate under
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 604(d) (eff. Dec. 3, 2015)
because his August 2015 certificate does not strictly comply
with the rule's December 2015 amendment and (2) he is
entitled to a $5-per-day credit toward his fines. For the
following reasons, we affirm in part, vacate in part, and
remand with directions.
2 I. BACKGROUND
3 On February 3, 2015, the State charged defendant by
information with three counts of first degree murder (720
ILCS 5/9-1(a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(3) (West 2014)). On May 12,
2015, defendant pleaded guilty to count II (720 ILCS
5/9-1(a)(2) (West 2014)), the State dismissed the other
counts, and the State agreed to a sentence cap of 60 years in
4 On July 1, 2015, the trial court sentenced defendant to 55
years in prison (with a credit for 149 days for time spent in
presentence custody), and defendant moved to withdraw his
plea on July 24, 2015. On August 20, 2015, defense counsel
filed a certificate under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 604(d)
(eff. Dec. 11, 2014) stating, in relevant part, as follows:
"I have consulted with the defendant in person to
ascertain contentions of error in the entry of the plea and
contentions of error in the sentence, and have examined the
trial court file and the report of proceedings of the plea of
guilty. I have made any amendments to the motion necessary
for adequate presentation of any defects in those
5 On September 16, 2015, the trial court denied the motion.
6 This appeal followed.
7 II. ANALYSIS
8 On appeal, defendant argues (1) defense counsel's
August 2015 certificate failed to strictly comply with Rule
604(d)'s December 2015 amendments and this court must
remand his case for the filing of a corrected certificate and
(2) he is entitled to $5-per-day credit toward his fines. The
State concedes the first issue. As to the second issue, the
State agrees defendant is entitled to $5-per-day credit but
disagrees as to whether the credit applies toward the court
finance fee. We address each of these contentions in turn.
¶ 9 A. Rule 604(d)
10 Rule 604(d) governs the procedures a defendant must follow
when he wishes to appeal from a judgment entered upon a plea
of guilty. The rule requires defense counsel to file a
certificate stating he followed the certificate's
prescribed requirements. Defense counsel must strictly comply
with the certificate requirements, and if counsel fails to do
so, we will remand to the trial court for such compliance.
People v. Cooper, 2011 IL App (4th) 100972,
¶¶ 12-16, 960 N.E.2d 53.
11 In this case, at the time defense counsel filed his August
2015 Rule 604(d) certificate, Rule 604(d) imposed the
following certificate requirements on defense counsel:
"The defendant's attorney shall file with the trial
court a certificate stating that the attorney has consulted
with the defendant either by mail or in person to ascertain
defendant's contentions of error in the sentence or the
entry of the plea of guilty, has examined the trial court
file and report of proceedings of the plea of guilty, and has
made any amendments to the motion necessary for adequate
presentation of any defects in those proceedings." Ill.
S.Ct. R. 604(d) (eff. Dec. 11, 2014).
12 Rule 604(d) was amended on December 3, 2015, to require,
for the first time, counsel to certify he or she has examined
"the report of proceedings in the sentencing hearing,
" not just the report of proceedings of the entry of the
plea. Ill. S.Ct. R. 604(d) (eff. Dec. 3, 2015). The issue
presented for our review is whether the December 2015
amendment to Rule 604(d) applies retroactively to defense