Litigation Toolkit: Procedural Challenges

General Procedural Cases

Nelson v. Colorado, 137 S. Ct. 1249 (2017): The United States Supreme Court held that Colorado law, which refunds court costs and restitution only if a defendant proves by clear and convincing evidence that he paid such fees as a result of conviction for a crime of which he was actually innocent, violates the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Court reasoned that, “[t]o comport with due process, a State may not impose anything more than minimal procedures on the refund of exactions dependent upon a conviction subsequently invalidated.”

Youth-Specific Procedural Cases

In re Jair V., JV No. 2007-0081, 2008 WL 4661698, at *2–3 (Ariz. Ct. App. Apr. 18, 2008): In an unpublished opinion, the Court of Appeals of Arizona vacated a juvenile court’s restitution order because it could not determine the basis of the juvenile court’s order require the youth pay $1,000 per month, when the only evidence of the youth’s ability to pay was his testimony that he would secure a job in the future.  The appellate court suggested that a youth’s failure to object when a court imposes restitution or fines without inquiring into ability to pay does not waive the right to challenge revocation of probation for nonpayment as fundamentally unfair.