Court costs officially deemed constitutional by Court of Appeals

6th Circuit Court of AppealsThe Michigan Court of Appeals settled a long-standing debate about court costs.

Court costs, which are determined by a judge for a defendant that goes through the court process, are constitutional.

Advocates have long argued that they benefit the communities and defendants should be responsible for using the resources of the legal system.

But State Appellate defense attorney Marilena (MAHDI-lana) David-Martin says the cost is unconstitutional because the courts are able to set their own fees for each case.

“The clients have no notice of what the amount of tax is going to be or how much they’re going to be charged for going through the court system.”

When deciding the amount, a judge looks at the actual costs reasonably related to the defendant’s case, like salary of court employees and operation of the court building.