Has anyone dealt with the issue of the district clerk collecting court-ordered fees from an inmate's trust fund account? If yes, then please send me your contact infromation. I have a brief due on the issue.
Here is what I recently filed for our District Court on this issue. The clerk returned the funds and the CCA just dismissed it as moot.
FINDINGS OF FACT
On May 11, 2006, MICHAEL ALLEN REINARTZ, was found guilty, by the Trial Court after a plea of Guilty to the offense of Driving While Intoxicated-Subsequent Offense, as charged in the indictment, in the 207th Judicial District Court of Comal County. The plea was for an assessment of punishment of five (5) years incarceration and to runn concurrently with time to serve on his probation revocation in Cause No. CR2005-281. The Court assessed his punishment for five (5) years confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Institutional Division, and no fine, and ordered that Court Costs be assessed. No direct appeal was filed.
Subsequent to the entry of the Judgment the Court signed an Order on or about December 21, 2006, (filed on or about December 26, 2006) directing the Inmate Trust Account at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to withdraw funds pursuant to � 501.014, Texas Government Code, to pay for his assessed Court Costs. To date the Court is aware that a sum totaling $68.31 has been removed form the Applicant�s trust account. No notice had been given to the Applicant other than the assessment of the fees at the time of sentencing.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
Applicant alleges that he was denied his due process rights when the funds were taken from his trust account without notice. The Court is aware of the holding in Abdullah v. State, 211 S.W. 3d 938 (Tex. App.�Texarkana 2007, no pet.) and finds that it is well taken. The Applicant has alleged facts which would entitle Applicant to relief. Therefore, relief should be granted and the December 26th Order shall be rescinded and be of no further effect. The Court is further of the opinion that any funds withdrawn pursuant to that Order be returned to the Applicant�s Inmate trust Account.
ORDER ON POST CONVICTION APPLICATION FOR WRIT
OF HABEAS CORPUS, ARTICLE 11.07
On the ____________ day of ______________, 2007 came on to be heard Applicant�s, MICHAEL ALLEN REINARTZ�s, Application for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Article 11.07. The Court having reviewed the Application, the Court�s file, and the State�s proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law is of the opinion that the State�s proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law be adopted by the Court and further that the Application for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Article 11.07 be GRANTED. It is therefore;
ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED, that the Court adopt the State�s Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and recommends that MICHAEL ALLEN REINARTZ�s Application for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Article 11.07 be GRANTED. The December 26, 2006 Order of this Court is hereby rescinded and the Clerk of this Court is hereby Ordered to return all sums garnished pursuant to that Order, back to the Applicant�s Inmate Trust Account.
How does that fit within an 11.07 writ, which is designed to address constitutional issues arising directly from a confinement?
We did not address whether the defendant's 11.07 writ was a valid challenge or the proper mechanism to challenge the taking of his inmate funds, we looked at the case law in Abdullah and after a discussion with the District Clerk and Court it was determined to give the defendant the relief he sought.
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